Tag: tactile activities

Red, White, and Blue Busy Box for Kids

Red, White, and Blue Busy Box for Kids

Are you looking for quiet activities for your toddler or preschooler this summer? Our red, white, and blue busy box might be just the thing for your family!

If you’ve been around the Rolling Prairie Readers community for any length of time, you know I’m a big fan of learning through play. I also talk a lot about creating invitations to play for our little ones.

Open-ended play is important for children because it builds independence, creativity, executive function skills, and — most importantly — attention spans. It’s easy for kids to focus on the things they want to do, and putting together a busy box gives children a buffet of options to choose from.

Red, White, and Blue Busy Box for Kids

How to make a red, white, and blue busy box:

  • First, grab a shoe box or small container.
  • Walk around the house and grab red and blue objects.
  • Set the box in a place where your kiddo is likely to find it.

Everyone’s busy box will look different, based on what toys you have available at home. Personally, I like to choose objects that mix and match nicely and build fine motor skills.


See our must-have toys for learning at home!


 

For this red, white, and blue busy box, I grabbed:

  • pom poms
  • tweezers
  • silicone cupcake liners
  • Velcro craft sticks
  • one-inch foam cubes
  • straw pieces and a Parmesan cheese container
  • dyed noodles and a shoelace
  • red and blue UNO cards (0-9 only)
  • Unifix cubes
  • linking rings

My tactile learner has been very active with this busy box already. I’ve found her stringing noodles, putting the UNO cards in numerical order, and dropping straw pieces in the cheese container. She often plays with the items during read-aloud time because having something small in her hands helps her listen better.

The red, white, and blue busy box also came with us when we traveled to visit with family a few weeks ago. I don’t typically like to bring a lot of toys with us when we stay in a hotel, but this box fit easily in our trunk and kept her occupied when we needed it.


See 100 more tactile ideas for kids.


If you try a busy box for your kids, I would love to see it! Snap a picture and send it to me on Instagram. For more summer fun, be sure to check out our list of patriotic books and learning activities.

You can also grab our Summer Survival Kit, which features more than 200 hands-on learning activities and our sensational summer schedule template!

13 Fun Transportation Books for Kids

13 Fun Transportation Books for Kids

All young children love all things related to transportation and vehicles. From airplanes to trains to school buses, toddlers and preschoolers are obsessed with things that go! These transportation books for kids are a great way to match early literacy skills to a topic children already love.

13 Fun Transportation Books for Kids

13 FUN Transportation Books for Kids

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Bear Takes a Trip:  

  •         Where would you go on a trip?  
  •         Find all the things on each page that are round/have stripes/triangles/etc.
  •         Spot the clocks. Discuss what time your family eats meals, gets ready for bed, participates in activities, etc.
  •         Related: Bear on a Bike

Little Blue Truck:

  •         Why is the Little Blue Truck so happy?
  •         How can we show kindness to others?
  •         Make a related sensory bin with corn filler and farm animals. Add a little blue truck and yellow dump truck if you have them.
  •         Everyone is dirty after helping the dump truck—give your child a small bowl of water and a washrag to clean his/her toy vehicles (or wash the family car together!).  
  •         Related: Little Blue Truck Leads the Way

We All Go Traveling By:

  • Talk about the unique illustrations and set up a sewing station for older preschoolers to decorate a blue train car made from felt.
  • Take a walk/drive and discuss all the vehicles you can “spy” with your little eye. What sounds do you hear?
  • Listen to the story on CD.

Transportation Activities

Grab our Transportation Family Activity Guide with 40+ learning ideas for kids ages 2-6!

 


More Transportation Books for Kids

My Bus/My Car (or any book by Byron Barton)  

Freight Train/Sail Away (or any book by Donald Crews)  

Curious George Loves to Ride by Margret Rey

I Read Signs by Tana Hoban

Red Light, Green Light by Anastasia Suen (great for opposites!)


JUST FOR FUN: Play “spot the sheep”—several books have sheep in the illustrations (Little Blue Truck, Bear Takes a Trip, We All Go Traveling By).

Read Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox


Little Blue Truck Sensory Bin

Creating a transportation sensory bin for your child is a perfect way to connect play with early literacy!

Our latest sensory bin features characters from Little Blue Truck in a bin of unpopped popcorn. Our daughter loved filling and dumping the corn in and out of the trucks and re-enacting the story with our farm animals.


What are your favorite transportation books for kids?

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Transportation Books for Kids and Little Blue Truck Sensory Bin

How to Make an Awesome Christmas Busy Box for Kids!

How to Make an Awesome Christmas Busy Box for Kids!

Winter is coming, and you’re looking for simple play ideas to keep your toddlers and preschoolers learning at home. Between cold weather, rainy days, and lots of holidays preparations that keep parents busy, having a few educational activities set aside for your little ones is a smart idea! Read on to learn how to make a Christmas busy box for your kids. How to Make a Christmas Busy Box for Kids

Note: This busy box can be repurposed for a variety of seasons and holidays. The only thing “Christmasy” about it are the colors I chose — but you could easily make a similar quiet time activities using other colors and symbols!

In case you haven’t heard about busy bags or boxes before, they are simple learning activities that are typically self-contained and set aside for travel, waiting rooms, or quiet time. This Christmas busy box is similar, pulling together a group of open-ended materials that can be used in a variety ways. Toddlers and preschoolers can mix and match their toys for hours of creative play!

Best of all, these materials all fit in one small box, so they can easily travel to a relative’s house or holiday party all season long.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

How to Make a Christmas Busy Box:

Making a busy bag or box doesn’t have to be complicated! Think of learning skills you want to target with your toddler or preschooler and gather related toys.   This Christmas busy box that I put together focuses on fine motor and counting skills. Put all your materials in a small shoe box!

Christmas Busy Box for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Click here to see a short video explaining how to use these materials in a variety of fun activities!

Recommended Materials for Your Christmas Busy Box:

You can use ANY learning toys you have around your house–these are just a few recommendations that are both quiet and easily transportable.

  • UNO cards (specifically the red and green number cards 0-9)
  • ice cube tray
  • red, green, and white pom poms
  • tweezers
  • red and green foam blocks (1 inch cubes)
  • “velcro sticks” (red and green craft sticks with velco dots on the ends)
  • red and green pegs
  • tree cookie cutter
  • green LEGOs
  • empty (clean) Parmesan cheese container
  • red and green straw pieces
  • shoelace

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Christmas Busy Box and Activity Ideas