Tuesday: 2 Coloring books and 2 learning workbooks, washable markers and jumbo crayons. The tall clear bins with red lids are "counting blocks" - rubber vehicles such as trains and buses. He will spend all day playing with these - sorting by color or type, making rainbow stacks in the bins, driving them around, lining them up in patterns, etc. Bruce loves these as well but I had to remove all the helicopters, too small.
The pencil case that has Thomas trains in it is one of Dean's favorite toys. They are these books (you can find them at Target) that have character figures and a playmat in the back. He would lose the pieces and ruin the books so I put them in this box. Also, 2 books to read. For Bruce I put in a few "bracelets" made with our colored pasta and pipe cleaners. He can safely chew on these. Also, a homemade ziploc bag baby book and glitter bottle.
Wednesday: A couple Color Wonder coloring books and markers to go with. A big bin of counting bears and a dump truck. We made a batch of home made Kool Aid play-dough and tossed that in there with some play-doh scissors and cookie cutters. He loves to stick the bears in the playdough and make patterns with them. He drives the truck over the dough as well to make tracks in it.
A few board books (so Bruce doesn't destroy them), a homemade dry-erase book of mazes and tracing. A puzzle and one of the graphing chart and dice shown at the very bottom of this post.
Thursday: I'm breaking my "messy" rule a little bit here. If we mostly stick with the watercolors and the paint-with-water books it won't be too bad. And you have to let them get a little messy, right?! I've got brushes, watercolors, finger paints, a paint cup, sponges, scrap paper, and an art smock in here. Dean has recently gotten into Q-tip painting, so there are a bunch of those in there.
I also threw in a foam pegboard and pegs, another dry erase graph with paper di and dry erase marker, and a magnetic truck book with vehicle magnets. A set of Cars themed Dominos keeps both boys happy. Just large enough for Bruce not to choke on, they stack them, dump them, and Dean plays with Domino math sheets I printed out and laminated.
It's not in the picture but I put his talking/interactive Leap Frog storybook in as well. ! I also included his sight word flash cards, binder, and magazine letters (see post). He has a Cars 2 lunchbox filled with mini cars - and we made a foam racetrack and Radiator Springs town. I'll add a photo soon. He had a hard time parting with this go-everywhere toy, but it is nice because Fridays are the day he's not away at preschool at all.
What other ideas do you have for filling these "busy boxes?" I'd love to know to swap out midway through the school year to keep things fresh and exciting!