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How to Make a Toddler Activity Box

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When you have some kids doing school with you and some kids below school age, it becomes a challenge to balance your time between teaching the older kids and keeping the little ones busy so they don’t destroy the house (without resorting to TV time). 

Our solution to this problem was to create a preschool play box for our youngest, so she can have something to do while her older sister is doing school. We put special things inside the box that are easy to use, but they also won’t make a huge mess (although she does manage to make a mess of some of the items anyway).

This box is only brought out during school hours so she can stay on task and not cause chaos elsewhere during our homeschool day. 

We put special things inside the toddler activity box that are easy to use, but they also won't make a huge mess (although she does manage to make a mess of some of the items anyway).

How to Make Your Own Toddler Activity Box

Use these simple ideas for your own toddler activity box. Remember, keep the box filled with items your toddler likes that aren’t messy, don’t require an adult to help, and don’t make a lot of noise. We use our box right at the table (sometimes on the floor) during school hours, and it has made a big difference in everyone’s attitude (especially mine).

If you want to make your own activity box, try these ideas:

  • Playdough
  • Crayons
  • Paper
  • Kid-safe scissors
  • Paper dolls
  • Sticker books
  • Board books
  • Coloring books
  • Duplos
  • Hidden pictures
  • Foam letters
  • Magnetic numbers
  • Felt boards
  • Color mixing games
  • I Spy worksheets
  • Buttons
  • Quite books
  • Pom poms
  • Pattern blocks
  • Lacing cards
  • Puzzles
  • Foam blocks
  • Dot markers

The rules of our box are, if you make a mess, it gets put away. If you make too much noise, it gets put away. If a sibling is distracted by the activity, it gets put away. These rules help to keep the mess level low and keep young kids engaged even though they aren’t quite ready for “real” school.

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