January 28, 2013

What to do with those Kiwi Crate Boxes? Make a TV-less TV!

I'm not sure about where you are, but here in SoCal it's raining like crazy and I'm not quite sure when it will stop.  If it seems like yet another day cooped up inside for you and the kids consider this quick little craft that pays homage to the grade school diorama and uses up those leftover Kiwi Crate boxes

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I'm quick to get cardboard boxes into the recycling bin, but there is something about those Kiwi Crate boxes that beg to be kept.  However it's about time to start either using or getting rid of some of them so after letting Kayla build till her heart was content I whipped up this little "TV-less TV" to avoid succumbing to the Wonder Pets and instead encourage her to use some toys in a new way, with a direct purpose.

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I simply cut out a rectangular panel of the crate following the lines on it as a template.  If you have slightly older kids you can let them take over after this step.  And of course you can use any old box - A cereal box might be an ideal shape as well.

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Next I just glued on a piece of construction paper to cover the back of the box.  I went for the green rolling hills and blue sky background but let your kids go with their imagination - maybe it's outer space, the desert, a tropical beach or a glacier.

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After that I cut out the sky, again simplest thing in the world - 1 wavy cut through a piece of construction paper and glued that on.  

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Then we were ready for some clouds.  Kayla refused to stuff all her vegetables from one of our old crates and so we had some cotton balls left over which combined with a little school glue made for perfect puffy clouds.

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You can also use toilet paper or paper towels.  Better yet, send your kids on a hunt for what they think would work best.

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After that I searched our kitchen junk drawer for some knobs.  Yes, I have a kitchen junk drawer.  It's  filled with a mix of semi-important papers (oops!) and junk.  I did find an old cap from bubbles that were spilled long ago and the plug from a Hex-Bug Kayla recently received for restaurant entertainment (they stay on a plate and do laps) and those worked perfectly.

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Then I grabbed an old wire hanger and bent in down the middle to make a TV antenna.  Yes, this is the perfect time to explain just how OLD you are to your child and how TV's actually had knobs , buttons and an antenna back in the day.  Prepare for head scratches, eyes of wonderment and declarations of "wow, you must be REALLY old."

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I just popped the bent hanger into the top of the crate and voila - a fully unplugged TV for Kayla to put on her own shows rather than begging to enter the world of Nick Jr.

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In hindsight I would have used s stronger glue for the knobs or found a way to make them spin, like gluing them on to screws and then sticking the screws through the box.  Kayla immediately attacked them and pulled them off.  However, they quickly became feeding dishes for the menagerie of Safari Ltd. figurines that started watching the show, so desired effect achieved...an afternoon of imagination rather than TV.

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If you're thinking about entering the world of Kiwi Crate you see why Kayla is a fan.  If you're looking for some great little toys you can take on the go, I just love the TOOBs from Safari Ltd to get conversations going about animals from around the world.  Our personal fave is the Down Under TOOB.
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