My sister-in-law shared with me that her 2 ½ year old granddaughter cries for her mom whenever she is dropped off at her house. I suggested she make her a special treasure box. The contents of this box can only be explored while she is visiting Nana. Therefore, my sister-in-law must resist the urge to let her granddaughter take the box or its contents with her when she leaves. I made one of these for my two year old granddaughter and she makes a bee-line for it whenever she visits. So what’s in the box? I am glad you asked.

I use an ordinary shoe box. But any box with a lid will do. I fill it with age appropriate odds and ends that I think she will like. I avoid anything like small balls, marbles, balloons or anything with small parts that could be swallowed. Here is a website if you need guidance on choking hazards.resize-Box pic 1

My granddaughter loves stickers so I buy stickers books at a local craft store for $1. They have 6 or 8 sheets of stickers, a great value for a sticker hungry toddler. However, I just put one sheet of stickers at a time in the box. I hide the other sheets, otherwise she would empty the entire book of stickers in one sitting! She puts them on half sheets of colorful paper that I also include in the box, but they sometimes end up on her clothes and cheeks.  What you fill the box with is completely up to you and the personality of your grandchild. I do switch out items and add to the contents of the box occasionally to keep it fresh. Most of the stuff in this box was free or recycled.

Her current treasure box has:

  • Hard colorful bangles (got a bunch for a dollar at Walmart in the holiday isle)
  • Empty Altoids cans
  • Old gift cards (they fit in the Altoids can)
  • Hair ties (buy a big pack of the larger ones , but just add a few to the box)
  • Book marks (free from library or educational event or make your own)
  • Mardi Gras necklaces (only if your grandchild won’t break them or suck on them. The girls usually like to wear them)
  • Sheets of stickers (I buy at craft store for a dollar)
  • Folded pieces of paper (like computer paper – I choose a color)
  • Coffee cup sleeves (I have these left over when I buy “to go” cups for the house)
  • Paint card color samples (home store –from my last paining project – when I was choosing colors)
  • Brochures with fold out pages (pick up the ones with interesting pictures)
  • Small maps (can usually find these at tourist type restaurants)
  • Fat crayons (I don’t do markers)
  • Plastic spoons (heavy duty)
  • Small cars and trucks (like Hot Wheels)
  • Old cordless mouse with a wheel (battery removed)
  • Rubber duck
  • Zippered pencil pouch
  • Large plastic scoops
  • Plastic shovel (part of a summer bucket/shovel set)
  • Large coin purse with lots of zippers
  • Long, thick piece of rope tied at both end

What do you keep a two year old busy at your house?