PARENTING

Busy Boxes: a great idea to keep little ones entertained

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Super simple ideas are the best, and this idea of a BUSY BOX for bigger siblings, which is great for both mamas and kids, will help enormously in the early weeks & months of second (or third) time motherhood (especially if you don’t have extra help at home!).

We know newborns love to feed, sleep, wee/poo, feed, and, REPEAT… so you will surely have your hands full with the little one(s). But the idea of a ‘busy box’ is genius and can be at an arm’s length, ready and waiting, when the new little babe starts to fuss for a feeding yet your eldest child also wants/needs attention.

I spotted this great set of Nesting Boxes from Hay, found at a great interiors shop called Future & Found in London (right near the delicious Ruby Violet if you are in the neighbourhood!) I chose the red set but it also comes in shades of beautiful blues. This set also stores away nicely and can easily be reused for a multitude of purposes. You could also just use a regular old box, with lots of stuff in it, but there is something special about getting to choose a box from the stack.

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Before each day, put a few new or interesting activities in each box as an age appropriate project that the child can do independent of you! (No paint or glue in my opinion), and make sure everything you need is in that box (i.e. for a sticker project also put paper in the box to sticker on!) and the child can choose a box while you are feeding, or changing nappies, etc. And ta-da, an instant surprise and project awaits!

We received a lot of great new ‘big sister’ gifts and they worked well in this context.  Stickers, craft projects, new books, games, puzzles, shadow puppets, etc … Customise the boxes for play activities that interest your own child. Be inventive, be silly, even a box filled with bubble wrap to pop would be fun (although not if it is a baby’s nap time!). And there is no need to buy new stuff, also use toys or books that have gotten lost in the back of the cupboard, perhaps this will give them a new life again (we love to rotate toys to keep things fresh!). Most of all, keep it simple. This is supposed to make your life easier and encourage self sufficiency.

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I love to watch my daughter open her box, in suspense, waiting to find out what is inside! And I also think it is fun to see how she goes about playing or crafting proudly with things ‘all-on-her-own,’ a commonly heard phrase from our 3 year old.

It is great for kids to do independent play, and explore without any instruction, but sometimes its useful to have a trick up your sleeve to help encourage it. And who doesn’t love opening a box to see what fun surprise is hiding inside?

Enjoy!

-Lara xx


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