An object permanence box is simply a box that you put a ball into and it has a sloped floor so it immediately comes out again into a tray. It teaches babies that objects can still be there even if you can’t see them. It is an activity that doesn’t need parent intervention and can be repeated over and over. There are many variations of it on sale in the shops, but for a young baby the simpler it is the better. Below I explain how I made my own.
Here is my 10 month old, at the moment he worked out how to use it. It was bedtime, but he wasn’t sleepy. I demonstrated what to do twice, and then he just took the ball and went for it! He repeated the action over and over again, with a big smile on his face! Eventually he decided to investigate if he could get the ball out the way it went in.
Now my homemade version is not as beautiful or as long lasting as the traditional wooden versions, but it’s free and easy and you can make it to fit balls you already have. I have tried to explain how I made it, but it’s probably best just to look at the photos and work it out that way! To start, you need a fairly large-ish box. The size depends on the size ball you have, but it should be wider than it is tall:
Cut out part of it like the photo below. There should be a ‘tray’ left on the half of the box that is cut out, and the two flaps that are used to close the lid need to be the right length to reach the bottom of the box when folded.
With the part you have just cut out of the box, fold it to make a slope. I just folded in the sides, then bent the flap to make a little ledge like this:
Then put this slope into the bottom of the enclosed part of the box so that it slopes downwards towards the ‘tray’.
Bend your box lid so that you can create doors for your enclosed area left in the box. Cut a door shape in the front of the box, making sure it is big enough for your ball to go through:
And cut a hole shape in the top of the box:
Stick it all down with tape, and it should look like this: