I hope everyone is staying home, sane and healthy! This week for 5 Ways to Play we are using cereal boxes, or cracker box, pretty much any cardboard food packaging will do. Sometimes engaging kids is as simple as changing one minor thing. For example, switching out paper for a deconstructed cereal box can be fun for painting or drawing. If that’s not enough here are a few more ideas to fill your days at home!
I shared this idea back on the blog in December for a Christmas ornament, but you could easily turn this into a sun catcher as well. Go to the blog post and you will get a pattern and detailed directions. They are super fun to make and you could probably try and do it with a bunch of different shapes as well.
For this activity you’ll want a cereal or cracker box, rubber bands, scissor and a hot glue gun. First, carefully deconstruct your box. You don’t want to tear your box because you will be hot gluing it back together. You are only taking the box to cut a circle in the front.
To cut the hole, grab a cereal bowl to trace with a pin on the front of the cereal box. Then, you can poke a hole in the center of the circle with your scissors. By doing this you can cut a circle, without cutting one of the sides.
Once you have the circle cut out you will want to reassemble your box with a hot glue gun. When your box is back to 3-D you can star adding the rubber bands. You want to slide the rubber bands over the sides of the box until they rest of the hole. It is best to have different width rubber bands to really hear the difference in the sound, but that’s not a must. You will still hear a bit of difference just depending on where the rubber bands are on the opening. One of my rubber band was a little too tight and bent the box so just pay attention to how tight they are and the amount of spacing between the rubber bands.
As with a lot of these activities, it will be up to you how involved your child is with making. I chose to make this once during London’s nap and she woke up to a fun new toy. Even younger kids could decorate the box before gluing it back together, that’s just not how our day worked out.
Pick our your favorite shape or animal and get to creating. I ended up using a cookie cutter for this, but you could search for some clipart online and used the outline as a pattern to start our collage. We used a rabbit cookie cutter, I couldn’t resist the option of a little cotton ball tale. Next, I traced the cookie cutter onto the cereal box and cut around the outline. I would try and prep this without your kiddo around or while they are playing independently. A restless kid is not a great start to a craft project.
To create the collage I let London practice her scissor skills cutting paper and catalogs. That’s up to you and what you are comfortable with. I will tell you it’s not the most beautiful collage, but it’s all about the process right!? Once you have the shape cut out and your collage materials ready your little can start pasting. I used a glue/water mixture with a brush for London to paint on the materials to make her collage but a glue stick would work too.
4. Sensory Cards-
I worked on these for the March Newsletter and they turned out so cute! Cut your cereal box into 3inch squares. I did 6 squares for 6 different colors. Next, collect different sensory items. This could really be anything. So many things provide a sensory experience that we forget. We grouped our sensory items by color and used feathers, beads, buttons, ribbon, pretty much anything that would fit on the card. Use your hot glue gun to attach the sensory objects and let your little explore.
5. King/Queen Crown
OMG!!! This turned out so stinking cute!!! I’m so ready to have an art play group to make these with our friends once this crazy quarantine is over! Maybe we’ll have to do a virtual play group for this one. Not sure how long I can wait! Anyways… Below is a template that you can print off and use for cutting out your crown.
You will want place the bottom edge of the crown on the crease of the tiny flap off the front of the box. I showed a picture below just to clarify. More on this later. Once you have the shape of the crown cut you are free to let you little one decorate. I pretty much let London have free reign. She is very much in to glue and collages right now so we didn’t do a ton of coloring or painting. Bring out the materials your kiddos will have the most fun with. Stickers, tape, paints, markers, glitter, ribbon, yarn, feathers, rhinestones, you name it! To me, this is a total ‘Yes’ project.
Okay, Now that your crown is decorated we are back to the little flap on your cereal box. You are going to hot glue a strip of elastic above the fold. The elastic will depend on your child’s head, but we use a strip around 12 inches of 3/4inch elastic. I glued the second end of the last in the same spot on the opposite side. Once I had both ends of the elastic glued and secured I put a line of hot glue on the small flap and folded it up to cover the elastic. This was for two reasons. First, so the elastic wasn’t digging into London’s head. Second, I thought it would be a bit more secure (and hopefully my kid wouldn’t try and tear the thing apart!). If you do not have elastic on hand I bet you could use two long pieces of ribbon and tie the two sides together. This was my original plan, but I didn’t have any ribbon and found the elastic! Up to you!
That’s it! I hope you enjoy!! We had a lot of fun with this one and London has had so much fun playing princess! Please! Please share this with me if you and your little make a crown! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!!
And that’s that! I hope this 5 Ways to Play has inspired some play of your own! We go through a lot of cereal boxes at our house and they are just the perfect thickness and texture for so many fun projects. Have you re-purposed any cartons or boxes? What else can we do with this little wonder? Please share if you think a friend or family member would enjoy one of these projects and let us know if you guys try one of these activities out! #houseofloo