I love the idea of busy boxes. The idea of busy boxes is having everything all ready for your child to do an activty when you need them to be busy because you are. I have not done it but I think I may try it. I have found it in a few different places. I wanted to put the links all together.
Play at Home Mom has busy boxes
Intrepid Murmurings calls her's toddler and preschool activity bags
Chasing Cheerios also calls her's toddler activity bags and she has better bags to use in this post.
My Delicious Ambiguity calls her toddler busy activity bags
Tired and True has homemade stuff in hers
Money Saving Mom calls hers busy bags
The Princess and the Tot call hers the toddler busy bags
The View from 5'5" calls her quite time boxes and they each have a few things in them.
Mine for the Making has some great ones. She calls them busy bags.
Playing House calls hers busy box. They have a few things in each one so she has a little more time.
I think you could do a lot of different things the same way. Those site have good stuff to get you started.