Here is a round-up of my favorite busy bags and boxes. They were extremely easy to put together and very inexpensive (all hail, Dollar Store). They have also bought me countless hours of independent play from my toddler-preschooler.
I’ve included links to tutorials and printables where applicable. Basically, I bought 90% of my materials at the Dollar Store and otherwise, used cardstock paper, laminate sheets, and sticker paper.
They can also grow with your children with slightly more complicated parameters. I hope they bring as much joy and peace to your family as they have mine!
If you’re making several different projects, I’d recommend keeping them together in a large box. We re-purposed a diaper box with gold duct tape and stored each project in a dollar store pencil bag. For the larger projects, I found these wonderful plastic bins at the Dollar Store as well.
I also printed out these labels (bags and boxes) to help me remember what went into each box. It helped with organizing but also with making sure all we put all of the “chokeable” pieces away before the little sibling(s) woke up. These little projects have provided my oldest with countless hours of *independent* entertainment.