All By Myself Preschool Boxes

All By Myself Preschool Boxes

Part of our new Preschool plan is the use of our new “All By Myself Boxes.”  I have seen the concept of Quiet Time Boxes for many years but not until now did I think the concept was a good fit for us. As I evaluated Ladybug’s list and prayed about following her lead, I kept coming back to this idea.  So, I created them! It seemed to be perfect timing for her, I will share our first week in another post, and in this post I will share the behind the scenes management and set up process! There’s a video at the bottom for those of you who want an even deeper look!

{disclaimer ~ there are affiliate links in this post}

Our Current Plan…

We homeschool 5 days a week, M-Th and Saturday {our family day is Friday}, so I got 5 of the same boxes. I chose these from Walmart because they are big enough {15 Qt} and she can open and close them independently.

I made labels for the bins, you are welcome to use them too, here’s the PDF file.

Daily Box Labels

Credit for the beautiful Chevron goes to Emily Wean Graphics!  I printed ours on cardstock, laminated, cut out, rounded corners, and used plain old tape to stick them on the outside.

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Knowing her love of all things small and sensory related, I also got 5 small boxes which fit inside of the bigger boxes.  I got these, also from Walmart. I have another post in the works that will share how I plan to rotate these items and what is on our long list!

Note ~ she is old enough to have access to tiny items independently, and I am comfortable as a parent with our choices. Use your own discretion as a parent, as many of these items would NOT be a good choice for young tots without supervision!  Do what works for you and your child{ren}.

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I bought 2 big boxes of zipper baggies and began dumping the toys that would be good for these boxes into them. I then took the bagged up learning materials and put them all in bins, like this…All By Myself Preschool Boxes -5681

You can see a master list {with links} of almost everything I rotate through in the boxes here!

My Filling the Box Procedure…

I line up the bins on Sunday evening and add materials, with this loose plan in mind:

  • 1 different sensory item per day in the small pink boxes
  • a few small animals
  • a puzzle
  • 2 small books
  • 3-4 learning toys/tools I have no weekly, bi-weekly set plan, that all depends on life.  I know she would love it if they were new each week, but some weeks won’t allow for that.  My goal is to try to change them up each Sunday evening, we’ll see!
      Her Quiet Time Area…

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I have her in the living room for now, which is right off our school room. It is close enough so I can help if needed and run in to peek at her {which I love}, but far enough away so she doesn’t interrupt us and we don’t bother her.

      I created a little shelf in our living room, where she will be using these boxes, to keep the “

always available

    ” materials, which include…
  • a cookie sheet {for anything magnetic}
  • a bin to help contain the sensory mess
  • a wooden board {mostly for puzzles, or things that need a solid surface}
  • a box of sensory bin tools {spoons, cups, tongs, etc.}
  • various supplies that I think she might enjoy using every day

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How I am Managing our Routine…

She gets a new box each school day at the beginning of her quiet time.   During this hour I am working one on one with Krash and PacMan is doing independent school.  I give her the bin, sit with her as she opens it in case she has any questions or needs help.  Then I leave her to play! I obviously check back periodically, but mostly she plays alone.  Her absolute favorite part is the small pink box of sensory goodness. She plays with that alone each day {so far} for about 75% of the time from what I can tell!

After the time is done, I stack the boxes in the corner like this, so she can go back to them if she wants to. This photo shows the END of the week, each day only one is added after she plays with it.

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At first I wasn’t going to do this {I had planned on hiding the other boxes away after the day was over}, but she got very upset and I decided my way wasn’t that important.  On Saturday evening, I put them all away in my storage room to be filled up on Sunday evening and ready for Monday. But during the week, she is free to go back to any items she really enjoyed {which is mainly those pink bins}.

For those of you who wish you could come over and see it, I made a little video for you.  I always love peeking into other people’s homes, I hope to do this more for you in the future!  This video shows her play area, the basic set up, and inside one of her boxes. The video is just a bit over 2 minutes.


This is just a portion of our new preschool routine, I am ironing out many more details to simplify our plan and make it more joy-filled for my Ladybug!  Stay tuned to see more about how I am following her lead with our home preschool!

See our first week’s box contents and our webpage showing what rotates through our boxes!

All By Myself Preschool Boxes