LEGO Patterns Busy Box

LEGO Patterns Busy Box | Mama Papa Bubba

Truth be told, I’ve never loved the name ‘busy box’.  Or ‘busy bag’ for that matter.  It’s ridiculous, I know, but I think I associate both with the term ‘busy work’ from my teaching days, which to me, is basically work {often of very little value} that keeps kids busy and out of the teacher’s hair.  Not my cup of tea.  I figure that if a teacher is going to expect her students to engage in some sort of activity or work, it shouldn’t simply keep them busy {that’s a waste of time} – it should engage them, challenge them, and teach them something worthwhile along the way – right??  Well, after looking at many, many activities labeled as busy boxes or bags, I learned that most of them do all of those things.  Most of them are fun, playful, and help little ones build on some sort of skill {or multiple skills at once}.  And yes, they are easy to pull out during times when you’d like your little one to play quietly and/or independently {while you shower, during restaurant and doctor’s office waits, during quiet time, etc.}, but that’s only because you’ve taken the time to prep the fun in advance – not because they’re anything like boring busy work.  And so, because I’ve finally made peace with the term, here’s our first busy box – a LEGO patterns busy box. ☺

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Gracen and I actually put this activity together last March and though we’ve had lots of fun with it since, it only recently struck me that it would make the perfect kit to take along while out and about.

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To put together the activity, we sat down together one day with a big bin of LEGO bricks and started making pattern towers.  We focused on making all different types of patterns using all different colours {we have equal parts traditional LEGO and pink-box LEGO} and when we had several made, we simply took photos of them using the square setting on my iPhone.  We then printed the photos out, laminated them, and our patterning play set was ready to go.

{You can download your own copy of our printable LEGO pattern cards here.}

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We’ve played with this activity many times since making it, and Grae always seems to play the same way.  She picks a card, ‘reads’ the pattern she sees aloud, then gets to building her own pattern…

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When hers looks the same as the one on the activity card, she double checks it, and then continues building the pattern in order to grow her tower.  She’s developed this little system on her own, and of course I think it’s just brilliant {though I am a tad biased}.

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Now, we keep the printable patterning cards and plenty of LEGO bricks in a tin pencil case by the door so it’s always ready to go when we’re in need of a quick and fun activity.  Today we took along with us in the car and it certainly made the long ride a little bit more enjoyable for Miss G!

Love LEGO as much as we do?  Check out our portable LEGO kit for little travellers and Fun at Home with Kids’ portable LEGO kit with printable activity cards.

And for something different, check out some of the fun busy bags and boxes our some of our little online friends have enjoying recently…


From left to right:

LEGO Patterns Busy Box | {by yours truly}

Printable Animal Puzzles | Itsy Bitsy Fun

Free Letter Tracing Roads | Playdough to Plato

5 Easy Bottle Cap Busy Bags for Tiny Tots | Best Toys for Toddlers

Brown Bear Lacing Busy Bag | Preschool Inspirations

DIY Car Track Busy Bag | Adventures of Adam

Three Pretend Play Busy Bags | Lalymom

How to Make Busy Bags: Thrift Shop Finds | ALLterNATIVElearning

Apple Counting Busy Bag | Coffee Cups and Crayons

Counting Caterpillar Busy Bag | Powerful Mothering


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8 thoughts on “LEGO Patterns Busy Box

  1. I was thinking this might be too simple for my boys, 6 and 8, but then I thought they could make them for each other! Eg get them each to build a random shape, then photograph it for their brother to copy. Or get them to draw it! The possibilities are endless, thanks 🙂

  2. Love this idea and yes when I was reading about busy work I believe 100% with you! As a teacher I shudder when I see teachers use black line masters where children all do the same thing. Nothing creative about that. I have also come to believe that hands on activities should never disappear even in the older years. I taught at a boys school recently and I noticed how switched off they were with sheets of work but how excited and engaged they became when we watched a youtube clip of a paper aeroplane that someone had made that could fly the distance of a real aeroplane hanger! After that the room was filled with paper planes, experimenting on models, discussions, sharing of ideas and decisions and data collected on which plane when the greatest distance!

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