Small kids are restless and fickle. My 3 year old daughter has a cupboard full of toys and she has everything you can imagine of; Lego, kitchen sets, play doh, dolls, dressing mirror, finger paints and educational games like flash cards, puzzles, etc. And then another cupboard of story books, coloring books, children’s magazines etc. With so much around, one would surely presume that my preschooler doesn’t need anything more to satisfy her needs. But that would be so wrong. In spite of all these, she still needs more.

As luck would have it, I came across this concept of ‘Busy box’ on Google. As the name suggests, it is a box full of knick-knacks that keeps your child busy. I rushed to the nearest stationery shop, bought a large box and started filling it up. As I am not much of a crafts person, I needed to buy even the bare essentials.

I bought:

  • a tube of Fevicol
  • felt flowers
  • chart paper
  • marble paper
  • beads
  • strings
  • candy sticks
  • googly eyes
  • glitter tubes, etc.

And then I added buttons, stones from my broken junk jewelery, bindis, and ribbons out of my own collection. Now, that I know anything can be used to make something creative and crafty, I am always on the lookout for odd little things in my house. I collect empty plastic containers, used up toilet rolls, wool, strings, worn and torn clothes etc. Every object that goes in the litter bin now passes through my eagle eye test for any craft potential.

Note: This craft box is not for kids under 3 years who think all bright things should end up in their mouths.

As for the busy box, it certainly keeps my daughter busy for at least 30 minutes, sometimes more.  She strings beads (good for hand-eye coordination) and also helps improve her concentration span (which she seriously needs). She enjoys painting candy sticks and getting her fingers messy. It’s one of her favourite activities.

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Rag doll made of old t-shirt

We made this rag doll out of a torn t-shirt of my hubby. I know it looks a bit scary, thankfully my daughter doesn’t find it so. 😉

This candy stick box is ideal for holding trinkets. And she had so much fun painting and gluing the sticks together. Though there are ready coloured sticks available in the market, I preferred getting the plain ones for her to have more fun.

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Homemade Trinket box – made of candy sticks

What I realised is that these things cost next to nothing and yet keep my child engaged in a positive way. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

PS: Busy box (activity box) can be a wonderful gifting option as well! You can keep on adding more age appropriate things like handmade papers and stickers for making gift cards, origami, etc.