Ohhhh, I am SO happy to finally be sharing this post! I’ve been working on these ideas since November and finally manage to get everything photographed and ready to share!
If you’re new around here, activity boxes are my favorite thing to put together to entertain my girls while I get work done, clean, cook or sit down for a few minutes :) I try to make the contents sensory, open-ended and exploratory and really allow them to use their creativity and imagination. Often I’ll simply put seldom used toys into the mix too and find they will be much more interested in playing with them when presented this way. You can see my initial post about morning activity boxes here! What I love about these boxes is they can be really EASY to put together and your kids will still love them – they are also really adaptable by age, I started using them around 12 months with Flora but made the activities age appropriate!
And now let’s dive into all the holiday fun!!!
I use plastic shoe boxes from Target (now sold out, but they always have similar in store). I find this size is perfect and also stores easily in our Ikea ‘built in’ shelves.
Sugar Cookie Play Dough
This sugar cookie play dough was so fun that I made an entire post all about it that you can read here! My girls ( 2 & 4 years old) played with it for a full hour this weekend!
Snowy Tree Sensory Play
Fill up one of you tubs with cotton balls and hide small bottle brush trees and holiday filler balls. My girls had fun setting up a snowy village after they found all the trees and even brought out their Paw Patrol pups to ‘rescue people’ in the village!
Hot Cocoa Shop Sensory Play
This is another one that was so much fun it deserved a post of it’s own – see how to make your own little hot cocoa shop for your kids right this way!
Felt Christmas Tree
You’ve probably seen these before – you can find them in the Target Dollar bin sometimes or dollar store (and if you see them, save some time & use that instead!!!) . They are a perfect independent activity for toddlers that will entertain them for a few minutes :)
All you need to do is cut out a tree (as you can see my tree drawing skills need some improvement) – you can easily search tree template online and print out something to trace if you want to make it look a little better than this! I use a muslin bag to hold all of the little felt shapes I cut out for ornaments. Older kids (Piper for example) can have fun creating or copying patterns with the ornaments, too.
Cardboard Gingerbread Houses
A use for all your Amazon boxes!
White chalk or crayons
Stick on gems
These can be as easy no-mess as you want by simply using white crayons or chalk to decorate a little village. Or you can take it a step further with stick on gems – or get into the messy stuff with glue and sequins. Whatever you are up to, and however independent your toddlers are!
I can’t help but use Flora’s title for this one! It’s her very favorite activity to play – she calls them ‘happy balls’ and has endless amounts of fun. Sometimes she uses tongs to transfer them to different containers, or she’ll pretend they are food and set out all of her toy plates with them for her babies. They are fun to throw and toss, too! All you need is large pom poms!
“Make Something” Box
And basically this is just a craft box but Piper calls it her “Make Something Box” and I try to update it seasonally. This box is a gold mine – really it gives her hours of play time. Flora even likes to use it now which is so much fun. I just put a ton of random ‘holiday’ stuff from around the house in and let them get creative! They have made ornaments, fill up notebooks full of creations and always love to make ‘cards’ for people. I put scraps of wrapping paper, holiday stamps, sequins, stickers, toilet paper rolls – really anything goes! I love having an area to contain it and whenever Piper says she’s bored I tell her to get it out!