Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Reusing Wipe Containers for Play: Busy Box Idea for Toddlers

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We have been dealing with diapers for three and a half years now and since we use disposable wipes, we have accumulated a lot of recycling in that time, including an abundance of wipe containers.  I was determined to find a way to reuse them other than for storing things around the house (e.g., craft supplies for the kids).  Instead, I use them as part of our busy bag collection.  One busy bag, in particular, is quite popular with both of the boys.

Simple busy box for toddlers from And Next Comes L

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**This post is currently receiving a lot of negative feedback and concerns on Facebook. Please note that my son was 1.5 years old at the time of this post and was well beyond the mouthing stage. He hardly ever mouthed objects. He was also always fully supervised (as are all activities on my blog). If you do not feel your child is capable of working with glass stones, then please choose an alternative material, such as fabric scraps, milk jug lids, socks, edible puffs, etc. No need to call me names, judge my parenting, or threaten to call social services. Thanks.**

What you'll need:
  • Wipe container - A 2L pop bottle would work as well
  • Glass stones - We used clear stones as I had some sitting unused in a vase, but you could use a variety of colors to enhance the sensory experience.
  • OPTIONAL: cardboard tube
Simple busy box for toddlers from And Next Comes L

I usually dump all the glass stones on the floor, open the lid of the wipe container, and lay out any optional materials.  Easy peasy!

The boys will easily spend 15-20 minutes, on average, putting the stones back into the container, either one at a time or by the fistful, dump the container, and then repeat it over and over.  Sometimes J will make patterns, letters, or numbers on the floor with the glass stones.  Or he will line them up to count.  And sometimes they will work together to get the stones into the container.

Simple busy box for toddlers from And Next Comes L

Simple sibling play idea from And Next Comes L

Simple sibling play idea from And Next Comes L

Simple sibling play idea from And Next Comes L

This activity can become quite noisy as they drop the stones in or dump them out.  Or if you use a pop bottle, you might find them shaking the bottle with the stones inside.

Best part about this activity is that the wipe container doubles as storage for the glass stones.

Simple play ideas, such as this busy box, are always a hit.  Good thing I have compiled 50+ simple play ideas that use only one or two materials.

Simple busy box for toddlers that also recycles wipe containers from And Next Comes L