Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Budget Busy Boxes

Being an professional pinner on Pinterest, I've seen information about "busy bags" often. Fill plastic baggies with one activity each and *boom* you have hours of entertainment for your little ones. In preparing for one of our recent road trips (we travel way too often), I realized I needed something along the lines of busy bags, but I didn't want to bother with several bags of activities. Plus I needed to include some other road trip essentials. I decided I could make busy BOXES and do it on a budget. I made one for Tyler (3) and figured I should make one each for my niece (7) and nephew (3) as well. For all three I managed to get by with spending under $20. Here's what I did:

The boxes I filled were old wipes containers... might as well not waste them! Then I filled them with snacks like peanut butter crackers, fruit snacks, and trail mix in plastic bags. I got some from the Dollar Tree and used some of what I had in the cupboard since I needed to use that stuff up anyway. There's nothing more grumpy than a hungry toddler, plus each snack will buy you about 10 minutes of "are we there yet"-free travel time.

Then I made a snack necklace kit to include in the box. I filled a plastic bag with foods with holes in them (pretzels, fruit loops, lifesavers gummies, etc). I also included chocolate covered pretzels, but for a summer road trip, I'd skip them haha. I pre-cut a piece of string and had Tyler string the snacks onto the string. I tied it around his neck and then he could snack! This kept him busy for a good 20 minutes.

I included some antibacterial wipes as well. The Dollar Tree has a 3 pack of 10 count Disney Pixar themed wipes which worked perfectly for the 3 kids. Those didn't buy me anytime, but I was definitely happy to have them after I realized what a terrible idea chocolate covered pretzels were in July.

I also put some stickers in the box so they could decorate the box (or themselves).

Finally I put together an on-the-road scavenger hunt list for each child and included it in the box. The items on the list were easy to spot things such as a McDonalds, a green sign (sort of a freebie for the little ones), a camper, a blue truck and so forth. For each item they found, they could pick a ticket which said either "toy" or "candy," without looking of course. Then they could trade in their tickets for candy (small things like Hershey kisses or lifesavers... some leftovers from Easter haha) or a toy (little things from the Dollar Tree that worked as entertainment as well like glow sticks, rubber band bracelet kits, coloring books, etc). Between the actual hunt and the entertainment from the prizes, I'd say I got an hour of distraction from this activity.

And the price breakdown for what I spent on my busy boxes (for 3 boxes):

Wipe boxes: free (thanks to my mommy friends!)
Snacks: $2
Necklace snacks: $5
String: free (I had it in my craft supplies)
Scavenger hunt prizes: $5
Scavenger hunt candy: free (we had a lot on hand)
Stickers: $3
Wipes: $1

$16 for about 2 hours of entertainment? I'll take that any day!

No comments:

Post a Comment