Thursday, May 19, 2011

Object Boxes - What's in all those boxes?

When I did my post about Introducing the Objects, (see that post here) I asked for input on what to put in some of the more difficult boxes, and where to find those things.  Someone wisely asked what sounds I was looking for, so I'm doing this post to show you what we already have.  The finding part is the harder part, though some sounds will challenge the 'what would work' task too.  I'm trying for at least 3, preferably 4-6 things in each box.  So without further ado, here is what is in our object boxes (and where we found them).  Pardon the lack of pictures.  I felt like this post was long enough without photos too.
EDIT: I've added some items to the boxes thanks to some creative friends and a very productive trip to a different Michaels

A - Antelope (from a Schleich safari set - an aside here, I LOVE the Schleich figures [see them here] but they are pretty expensive, so it's hard to justify a ton of them, though you'll see I manage to justify quite a few)
     Alligator (found at Michaels, its from Safari Ltd which is basically budget Schleich.  Here is the Safari Ltd website)
     Agate (a pendant found in the jewelry making section at Michaels)
     Astronaut (foam sticker from a friend)

B - Ball (a small one snagged from another toy we had)
      Baby (tiny little thing I grabbed with a bunch of other figures super cheap at the local bookstore)
      Brush (from a polly pocket toy)
      Banana (eraser from a dollar store set)
      Butterfly (made of feathers from the dollar store)
      Bear (also from the local book's a polar bear, and Bella calls it a polar bear, not just a bear, so it may have to go live in the P box instead)
      Bug (foam sticker shape from a friend)

C - Cup (from a tea set we already had)
      Cone (from a play food set)
      Cow (fisher price, from a set like this one on Amazon)
      Carrot (play food set)
      Comb (already had but I'm sure easily available at the drug store or 1000 other places)

D - Dragon (tiny miniature from local bookstore)
      Dog (we tossed the picture and replaced it with one from Safari ltd from Michaels)
      Dolphin (Safari ltd from Michaels)
      Dinosaur (Safari ltd from Michaels)
      Dreidel (from a friend)
      Duck (Safari ltd from Michaels)
      Dice (from a friend)

E - Eggplant (play food set)
      Elephant (tiny elephant from bookstore, the one I ordered from Shleich was too big...ironic for an elephant figure huh?)
      Egg (from Easter, though I'd rather have one that looks more realistic)
      Elk (Safari ltd from's technically a reindeer, but I needed an elk, so we're going with it)

F - Flowers (local toy store had a few miniatures like this little bouquet of flowers)
      Fork (from toy dining set, or you could use a real one, toddler sized)
      Feather (craft store)
      Fish (miniature from bookstore)

G - Glove (a singleton I luckily hadn't thrown out yet)
      Goat (Schleich)
      Grapes (eraser from the dollar store)
      Guinea Pig (Safari ltd from Michaels)

H - Heart (wooden heart shape from Michaels)
      Hippopotamus (Schleich)
      Hot Air Balloon (In the Sky Toob from Alison's Montessori)
      Helicopter (In the Sky Toob)
      Hermit Crab (miniature from bookstore)

I - I have nothing for I...HELP!  Igloo comes to mind, but where to find a tiny igloo?
     Igloo (foam sticker shape from a friend)

J - Jaguar (Schleich)
     Jet (In the Sky Toob)
     Jellyfish (Safari ltd from Michaels)
     Jar (babyfood jar from a friend)
     Jewel (craft jewels from Michaels)

K - Kazoo (from a local toystore)
       Kangaroo (Scheich)
       Koala (Safari ltd from Michaels)
       I didn't worry about more here because the sound is the same as 'C'

L - Ladybug (miniature from bookstore)
      Lion (miniature from bookstore)
      Lock (luggage lock from a friend)

M - Marble (from a vase I already had)
       Marker (from our art supplies)
       Mushroom (play food set)
       Meerkats (Scheich safari set)

N - Net (a small net from a bug catching set)
      Nail (housewarming present from some friends...yes our friends actually get us stuff for our object boxes as gifts)
      Nutmeg (present)
      Necklace (present)
      Notebook (present)

O - Ostrich (Schleich safari set)
      Otter (Safari ltd from Michaels)
      Owl (Safari ltd from Michaels)
      Octopus (Safari ltd from Michaels)

P - Peas (play food set)
      Penguin (Schleich)
      Panda (miniature from bookstore)
      Parachute (In the Sky Toob)
      Pepper (eraser from the Dollar Store set)
      Potato (play food set)
      Pink Paperclip (from a friend)

Q - There is nothing in this box right now.  I'm thinking of the Question Mark from our magnetic fridge alphabet and a Queen...I just have yet to find a small inexpensive queen.  Schleich sells some royal figures, but I worry that they may be too big for the boxes, so we're still looking for our royal.
      Queen (Safari ltd from Michaels)
      Question mark (from magnetic alphabet)

R - Racoon (Scheich)
      Rat (miniature from bookstore)
      Rocket (foam sticker shape from a friend)
      Rainbow Ribbon (from a friend)
      Rope (from a friend)

S - Spoon (play dining set or use a real toddler spoon)
      Spatula (play dining set)
      Star[fish] (one of my personal Swarovski crystal collection...I may switch it out for a starfish I have in a decorating set from Pottery Barn, but Bella loves the sparkles, so I'm leaving this one for now)
      Soap (from a baby bathtub play set, real soap would work too)
      Strawberry (eraser from Dollar Store set)
      Shoes (Iwako eraser from Michaels. The Iwako site is here.)
      Snake (Safari ltd from Michaels)

T - Train (a Thomas train from a friend)
      Turtle (Schleich)
      Top (local toy store)
      Twist Tie (ingenious, I know)
      Tape (Iwako eraser from Michaels)

U - I got nothing here...I'd love to have an umbrella, but where to find a tiny umbrella? Others?

V - Velvet (fabric store swatch)
      Velcro (from a friend)
       I'd like to have a violin, but violin miniatures are ridiculously expensive!  Any idea on where to get a cheap one?

W - Whistle (local toy store)
       Watering Can (local toy store miniature...totally lucked out on this one)
       Witch (Safari ltd from Michaels)
       Whale (Safari ltd from Michaels)
       Web (from a friend)

X - Nothing in this box currently, the idea would be box or fox.  I think I can get a small box from a stacking box set, and the fox from schleich, just haven't done it yet.
      Box (little jewelry box from a friend)

Y - Yo-yo (Michaels)
      Yellow Yarn (Michaels)

Z - Zucchini (play food set)
      Zepplin (In the Sky Toob...yeah I know most people would call it a blimp...but I didn't need a B, I needed a Z, so it's a Zepplin, deal with it!)
      Zebra (Schleich, can't teach Z without a Zebra)
      I also need to purloin a zipper off of a outfit once Bella outgrows one, just need to remember.

I will say I looked at this site (Animal and I put a ton of things in my basket and then never actually purchased them because I was worrying about cost.  They do have some of those same miniatures I got at the bookstore though, and those are cheap.  I also really liked the In the Sky Toob because it gave me lots of sounds I needed, inexpensively.  Of course, we also have another 10 planes that I don't need, so they're just hanging out in the transportation bin in the playroom.

So there you have it.  Ideas?


  1. How big are your boxes? I recommend looking for stuff at places where they sell Christmas ornaments or doll house supplies.

    I have suggestions on things to look for, but no specific ideas on where to get them.

    A - acorn, agate, apple (look for teacher appreciation stuff, Hallmark), angel

    D - doll

    I - inch worm, insect

    J - jelly bean?, jewel

    N - Necklace, nipple (from a bottle), napkin, net, newt, nail

    O - octopus, orange, opal, owl

    q - quilt, quartz, quarter, quill

    r - ring, rope, ribbon

    U -paper cocktail drink umbrella, underwear?

    v - violet, vole?, villian? vixen? vote? vent? ok, that's a tough one

    Y - yarn, Yellow?

  2. Other ideas: oval, whale, envelope, yoda, elf, nut, quarter, watermelon, eraser, leaf, tweezers, lace, wallet, twig, magnet, mirror, vial, aluminum foil, invitation

    Here's what I found at home, you can see if any of them would work for you:
    - rainbow ribbon
    - alien (sticker)
    - dinosaur(sticker)
    - rocket (sticker)
    - astronaut (sticker)
    - igloo(sticker)
    - lock (and key)
    - acorn
    - rock
    - quartz
    - dice
    - nail polish
    - jar
    - diaper (newborn size)
    - bear (stuffed, probably too big)
    - dog (stuffed, probably too big)
    - box
    - yarn
    - rope
    - ribbon

  3. Seeing those boxes lined up like that (or any other alphabet blocks set) always makes me wish there were 28 letters in the alphabet.

  4. I'm just gathering ideas for this myself
    n - net, nest, nail, needle (plastic sewing or knitting), nut
    u - the little drink umbrellas (craft stores or ask a friend who likes little fruity drinks to save one)
    underwear (yeah I know, but doll sized works)
    i - iron (the little one from the monopoly game would be perfect), ice cream cone (i've seen these in the little eraser format)
    V -vulture, vaccuum, votive (candle), veggies

  5. Good ideas, thanks! Beware those i's. I think they are supposed to be objects with the soft i sound, not the hard i sound like ice cream. So think, the i sound in igloo instead... makes it a lot harder though!

  6. I acutally ordered a poster (I'm sorry I can't remember where I got it.) that has each letter and a picture. I made my sound box to match the objects on the poster. One of the first activities I have my kids do is a simple matching game where they match the object to the picture on the poster. These are some of the ideas I've used that I didn't see on your list.

    a- apple - usually pretty easy to find at the dollar store around Christmas time.
    c- corn - I found a table cloth weight set at the dollar store that had corn on the cob clips.
    h- heart - a simple foam heart from the dollar store, hat - from a barbie doll I think
    i- iguana - you can usually find them at dollar stores or at Michaels. Good place to get an igloo is in the "Arctic Tube" at Michaels. It's a little pricy, but you can always use the animals for another activity.
    k- key - I use an old house/car key
    l- leaf - the fabric ones that are all over around Thanksgiving time at the dollar stores
    m- mitten - I cut one out of felt and painted a design on it
    n- nut - any kind of nut as long as no allergies,
    o- olive - I painted a wooden bead green and put a little piece of red felt in the hole
    s- sandwich - I made one out of fun foam and felt
    t- tiger
    v- valentine
    w- watch - used an old one that I don't wear anymore
    x- x-ray - I went to my dentist and asked for an old one of my teeth.