Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Recycled Alphabet & Number Busy Box

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A wonderful busy bag idea for kids that incorporates recycling and literacy! Your kids will love this alphabet themed busy box idea.

The latest busy bag (or box in this case) in our collection cost just over $5 to make and uses recycled items to help kids learn letters.  Or in J's case, spell words and organize numbers into patterns (hello, hyperlexia!).  Regardless, it's a simple and frugal way to make and organize letter manipulatives for toddlers and preschoolers and would be similar to a Montessori movable alphabet.

This DIY recycled alphabet and number busy box idea for kids is a perfect quiet time activity and will encourage your kids to work on literacy skills.

Recycled alphabet & number busy box idea for kids from And Next Comes L

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How to Make a Recycled Alphabet & Number Busy Box for Kids

I cut letters and numbers off some recycled cardboard boxes a few months ago for the boys to play with.  Well, do the boys ever enjoy them!

However, I was struggling with the storage of the recycled letters, hoping to one day find a perfect storage container for them.  Up until last week, they were lovingly stored in an old baby wipes container.  Then I found this 32 compartment no spill bead organizer at Walmart for $5!  It was perfect.

Using a permanent marker, I wrote the uppercase and lowercase letters in each compartment.  Since there were some empty spots, I wrote the numbers in too.  Some of the numbers had to partner up with another number, but that's not a big deal since I hardly have enough numbers for the box yet.  And, more importantly, the boys don't seem to mind.

Recycled alphabet & number busy box idea for kids from And Next Comes L

Then the recycled letters and numbers can be organized into their spots.  You'll notice that I am missing some Qs and have very few numbers at this point, but searching for the missing items on our cardboard has been part of the fun.  It's like a scavenger hunt for the boys to help me find some letters to fill up the box. 

Recycled alphabet & number busy box idea for kids from And Next Comes L

On the lid of the box, as can be seen in the first picture or the picture below, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the words "The Alphabet Box" from gray vinyl.

Update as of December 19, 2013: I have had numerous questions about what to do with this busy box.  J loves to just sort letters, spell words, and arrange numbers into patterns.  He has also used them as part of his second language learning, which you can read about here.  K, on the other hand, loves to match the letters to the corresponding spot in the box and just pick up letters to identify.

Other Ideas You'll Love

Sight Word Puzzles Busy Bag Idea

Rainbow Chickpeas & Alphabet Cookie Cutters Sensory Play

10 Ways to Learn the Alphabet on the Light Table

Make an alphabet & number busy box for toddlers and preschoolers using recycling from And Next Comes L