Zel had his 18 month check up last week. He always gets rambunctious at the doctor's office even with the toys they have there that he has never played with before. I decided to pack two small books, a matchbox car, some snacks, water, and two "busy boxes." For the boxes, I used the plastic containers from herbs that I bought from the grocery store. I put a pipe cleaner with cut up pieces of a two straws in the first box. This is great fine motor practice for toddlers that can't quite use regular string and beads yet. In the other box, I placed a few folded up pieces of construction paper and crayons. They worked wonderfully!
Zel was not too pleased when the nurse came in and started measuring him. Once she was finished he started acting very whiny and clingy. That's when I brought out the busy boxes. For the rest of the visit (aside from shots at the end) he was very happy. After we got home, I made two more busy boxes. For one I cut up shapes out of felt and cut a little X in the middle of each one. I put them with a pipe cleaner folded in half for some more fine motor practice. I also made another box with a small notebook and various sizes of stickers.
There are many great ideas for busy boxes or busy bags. Here are a few that I've come across that I think would work really well for toddlers:
I've been keeping at least one busy box/bag in the diaper bag so that Zel has entertainment no matter where we go!