What exactly are busy boxes? A treasure trove kept in a container that is simple, easy, fun and provides endless engagement, entertainment and mostly importantly from an OT perspective, skill development. Busy boxes are filled with materials that people find purposeful, functional and are drawn to use independently. They are the front runner to encourage creative play and develop essential skills.
Busy boxes can be used to work on specific skills such as imaginative play, to inspire play with others or to occupy the mind for a few minutes. Kids think they have found treasure and have no idea that the activities and materials in the box have been carefully selected by adults. The benefits of busy boxes is that they provide repetition and encourage creativity with numerous possibilities for how to use the contents. With repetition of skill performance and repetition of creative play comes solid foundational skills.
The hidden beauty of the busy boxes is the incidental work on developmental and functional skills, particularly creativity and imagination. Kids learn to start and finish tasks, they build their attention span by engaging in play for an extended period of time and use their problem solving skills to work through challenges. These can also be used to spark social interactions and cooperative play between two or more children.
Consider these hints to make inspiring and stimulating busy boxes for the busy hands in your life.