40 Busy Box Ideas That Will Keep Your Baby Entertained

busy basket activity for babies

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Busy boxes have been a saving grace inside our home! They allow us to keep our baby entertained (at least for a short time) while completing chores or cooking meals. We all know that moms are short on time so this has been a big help.

They have been a lot of fun for our son and have helped him play with items we wouldn’t have thought of letting him explore otherwise. If you have a baby or toddler who likes to be entertained and loves exploring objects, a busy box might be a good solution for you too. 

Let’s take a look at what exactly a busy box is, how to put your own together, and some ideas for what you can include. 

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What is an Infant Busy Box?

A busy box is a container filled with items that are appropriate for your baby or toddler to take out of the box and play with. They pass time by pulling out each individual item, exploring it, and playing with it. 

A busy box can also be called a busy basket, busy bag, or activity bag. The name tends to change depending on the type of container you use for your activities or items. They all use the same concept though. 

The box is used to keep your baby or toddler busy by allowing them to explore different items that are placed inside of a box or other container. This is a great way to allow your child to explore items of different colors, textures, and uses. 

busy box example

What Ages Are Busy Boxes Good For?

Busy boxes are great for practically any age! As soon as your child is able to sit up assisted or unassisted, they can enjoy going through a box or basket you can put in front of them. 

Since you’re creating the busy box, you can make it appropriate and safe for your child based on their abilities. The things inside the busy box can change as your child develops and grows. 

As your child gets older, you can include more advanced items to keep them busy. More advanced items could be things like coloring books and independent activities. 

How Do You Make a Busy Box?

Making a busy box, or busy basket, is really simple! You simply take a container, like a box or basket, and fill it with items for your baby to play with. Let’s take a look at what you can use for a container and some ideas for your box. 

how to make a busy box for your baby

What Can You Use as a Busy Box?

You can use pretty much anything as a busy box container. We love to use baskets, cardboard boxes, and toy containers. You could also use a basic sack or anything that your baby can sit around and pull objects from. 

Get creative with things around your home to change up your busy box. You can repurpose things such as empty toolboxes, coolers, coffee cans, etc. 

What Goes In a Busy Box?

What you put in your child’s busy box is totally up to you. The items you choose should be safe and age appropriate. Make sure that you monitor your baby closely with anything that they need supervision with. 

For example, if you include a string of beads for them to explore, you need to watch them to ensure they don’t wrap the string around themselves or loosen any beads. 

We like to change up what is in our child’s busy box from time to time. I find most things by just walking around the house and finding things that are safe, new, and fun for our sun to explore. 

Some favorites have been an old remote (with the batteries removed), kitchen utensils, and small board books. 

Easy Busy Box Ideas

Here are some ideas for what you can include in a busy box for your child. Make sure to think about the safety of each item you include. 

I like to include a mix of our child’s favorite toys, household items, and different learning toys. You should replace the items regularly to keep your child interested. 

What to Put In a Busy Box or Busy Basket

  1. Different fabrics
  2. Blocks
  3. Stackable toys
  4. Sensory bottles
  5. Small board books
  6. Rattles
  7. Teething toys
  8. Empty containers
  9. Dolls
  10. Kitchen utensils
  11. Edible Playdoh 
  12. Musical instruments
  13. Napkins or paper towels
  14. Pieces of clothing
  15. Old phones
  16. Remotes (with the batteries removed)
  17. Calculators (with the batteries removed)
  18. Toy or old car keys on a keyring 
  19. Things from outside like pinecones, tree bark
  20. Ribbon
  21. Balls
  22. Strings of beads
  23. Snacks
  24. Beach toys
  25. Lovies
  26. Toy letters
  27. Crinkly fabric books
  28. Stuffed animals
  29. Stackable objects
  30. Books

More Busy Box Ideas

  1. Include items that are all the same color
  2. Include items that are all different colors
  3. Include items that all start with the same letter
  4. Focus on seasonal items
  5. Make holiday boxes
  6. Create nature boxes from outside
  7. Focus on different themes like beach day
  8. Make a water activity activity box with tupperware and water toys
  9. Make sensory boxes 
  10. Add snacks and treats to busy boxes when age appropriate

Busy Box FAQ

What goes in a busy box?

You can put anything that is safe for your child into a busy box. Find things with different colors, textures, and uses to keep them busy and interested. 

How do you make a busy box?

Making a busy box is simple. Find a container and fill it with items for your child to pick through and play with. 

How do I keep my baby occupied? 

Keeping a baby occupied can be difficult! Especially if they get bored easily. Find activities like busy boxes that can keep their attention. Once they get bored, move them to another activity. 

Making Busy Boxes for Your Baby or Toddler

Busy boxes are a great tool to have to keep your child entertained. They allow kids to explore items and play independently while they explore each item. 

Giving your child different things to play with in their busy boxes will promote learning and curiosity. Try to replace items with different ones to encourage this. 

Have fun making your busy box! The items don’t need to be anything special. Remotes and kitchen utensils keep our baby entertained and we didn’t have to go purchase a bunch of items. I’d love to hear what simple things keep your baby entertained!

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