Making a Busy Box

Little Girl likes to be in Little Guy’s room when I feed and rock him before his naps. This would be totally fine, except that she likes to play with stuff that “talks,” and thus makes Little Guy more interested in playing than settling down. (Save the “don’t nurse the baby to sleep” comments for someone else; we’re just fine, thanks). So – being too lazy to make a quiet time book, I thought of “The Busy Box.” Totally simple: all you need is a plastic shoebox, felt, glue, scissors and imagination. I bought a bunch of felt at our local craft-supply thrift store and went to town.

First, glue a large piece of felt to the top of a plastic shoebox. I used Elmer’s and spread it very thin over the entire surface. Press the felt down firmly. When the glue dries (I waited a day), cut off any excess.

Voila, play surface created!

I chose to make letters first since she is so interested in them right now. I’m going to make some dolls that she can dress up next, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. Cut out large rectangles for the uppercase letters (1.5 inches by 2 inches) and small rectangles for the lowercase letters (1 inch by 1.5 inches).

Big letter, Little Letter!

Then cut the letters out of the squares. “Tall” lowercase letters like “t” will need a starting rectangle that is 1 inch by 2 inches.

Little Girl loved those scrap shapes – don’t throw them away if you can help it!

I then laid the letters out on a long piece of felt that could be rolled up and placed in the box. At first I tried plastic baggies, but they just got too jumbled and it was hard to find the letters she wanted.

The finished box and alphabet roll-up!

It was a big hit!

P.S. Don’t throw away the scraps – put them in a baggie for creative play with shapes. Little Girl was making them into houses and things! Waste not, want not, right?

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