My post today gives a way for babies (and toddlers) to enjoy all those little objects that are a choking hazard. Mini discovery boxes are similar to discovery bottles. I especially like that the mini discovery boxes are both safe and easy for babies to grasp and explore.
Like 6-month-old babies everywhere, my granddaughter would love to explore – and mouth – any small objects she could get her hands on. I was trying to think of the best way to give her a fun and safe way to explore those sorts of objects. She loves her treasure baskets, but they’re designed for objects that are large enough to be safe for babies and toddlers. Discovery bottles can work well for babies and toddlers, too. But for my granddaughter right now, I wanted something a bit smaller, stronger, and easier for her to hold than a discovery bottle.
I had published a post previously about “Preventing Choking in Babies and Toddlers with Older Siblings.” Rachel from Racheous had some lovely containers with natural objects for babies and toddlers to explore.
I decided to use mini storage containers to create something like discovery boxes within treasure baskets. I tried to think of the best name to describe them without confusing them with treasure baskets that have only larger items (although the baskets could be classified as treasure baskets), discovery boxes that are like treasure baskets, or sensory boxes/bins. I decided on mini discovery boxes. When I did a Google search, of course I found that there are already mini discovery boxes online.
Anna from The Imagination Tree has mini discovery boxes that are larger than the containers I used. Kat from Creative Playhouse has mini discovery boxes for storing treasures from nature hikes. I think the term works well for more than one type of box.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
Mini Kitchen Ingredient Discovery Boxes
I purchased Sure Fresh mini storage containers, which my granddaughter was able to easily grasp and manipulate. Although they aren’t a natural material like glass would be, I needed something that was both see-through and safe for a baby who loves to bang things together.
Any sort of small object could be placed in these, but I decided on kitchen ingredients. I used lima beans, garbonzo beans, pinto beans, black beans, split peas, popcorn, whole cloves, brown rice, brown rice flour, and salt. Some of these were the same as ingredients in my granddaughter’s Easter egg sound shakers, which she still loves. I filled each container to less than half full so that each would make a clear sound when shaken.
I used a hot glue gun to securely close each container, making them safe for any explorations. For dry ingredients, electrical tape like I used to close the Easter egg sound shakers would probably work well, too.
Mini Color Discovery Boxes
For the mini color discovery boxes, I used the Really Useful 0.14 Liter Box. For this treasure basket of mini discovery boxes, I used pink buttons in a pink box, yellow pony beads in a yellow box, blue Micro Machines in a blue box, purple pom poms in a purple box, and clear glass marbles in a clear box. Again, I used a hot glue gun to seal each box. UPDATE: The Really Useful boxes don’t seal as permanently as the Sure Fresh mini storage containers (at least with my hot glue gun). I needed to reseal mine after a length of time, although the Sure Fresh mini storage containers stayed tightly sealed. Unless you have a professional high temperature glue gun, I recommend using white duct tape or electrical tape to seal the mini color discovery boxes using Really Useful boxes.
My granddaughter is very happy with both sets of mini discovery boxes. I’m very happy that she now has a safe way to explore small objects.
Have you found a way for your baby or toddler to safely explore small objects?
The Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year
This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year. See all my posts in the Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year.
Over 40 bloggers have gathered together to bring you advice, ideas, resources and more on everything you might need for your baby’s first year. Thank you to Dayna from Lemon Lime Adventures (landing page for the event) for organizing the event and working tirelessly to put it all together and to Nicolette Roux from Powerful Mothering for a tremendous amount of work in helping Dayna put everything for the week together.
Not only is this series full of amazing tips and resources that every parent can use, there are giveaways! See the Rafflecopter form below!!! Today’s post is part of the “Ultimate Guide to Baby Play Spaces, Nurseries and More.”
Ultimate Guide to Baby Activities
Ultimate Guide to Baby Activities ~ Lemon Lime Adventures
30+ Baby Safe Sensory Play Ideas – B-Inspired Mama
Textured Sensory Play Mat – It’s a Long Story
Mirror Play for Babies – Still Playing School
Fun and Safe Sensory Bins for Babies – The Eyes of a Boy
Jewelry Sensory Box – Trust Me, I’m a Mom
Baby Play: Newborn Exercise – True Aim Education
Combining Gross Motor & Art – Bambini Travel
20+ Motor Play Ideas for Baby – Pink Oatmeal
Tummy Time Entertainment – Hand Made Kids Art
Simple Activities for 6 – 12 Month Olds – Powerful Mothering
Tummy Time: Why & How? – The Inspired Treehouse
Baby Play: Rolling a Ball – Wildflower Ramblings
How to Encourage Baby to Crawl– The Realistic Mama
*Busy Boxes & Baskets
Natural Spring Treasure Basket for Baby – Natural Beach Living
Montessori-Inspired Mini Discovery Boxes for Babies – Living Montessori Now
5 Fun Busy Boxes for Baby – Squiggles & Bubbles
14 Treasure Bins for Baby – Wildflower Ramblings
5 Ideas for Playing Outdoors with a Baby – Barefeet on the Dashboard
Outdoor Play Ideas for 0 – 12 Months – Winegums & Watermelons
*Arts & Crafts for Baby
9 Tips for Painting with Infants – The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide
Smart Art for Your Burgeoning Mini Monet – Conceiving Piper
Learn more about Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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