Sunday, January 17

Kids' game with pizza carton: DIY

When it comes to kids' toys, parents go the extra mile to spend. Colourful toys, high-end toys, toys with wood, toys with nearly become instruments to placate their mood. Kids may hardly hold on to a few toys long-term. Often they are done with a respective toy long before you know it, leaving you wondering if those precious bucks you spent were worth the time. The truth is, it does not always take a lot of money to engage them for a while.

It only takes some quick thinking, tools an innovation around home. You can create homemade games, or even get them to make their own games using household items. I recently got a small sized pizza, and kept the carton. Now, the trouble with using a pizza box for anything crafty is that the pizza inside could have well stained the piece.

How about leaving your reservations behind and using a stained box anyways, or using the blemishes they create to your advantage if need be?

I came across how the lid of a shoe-box could be used for ball maze games in the Do-It-Yourself world.

And tried the same with the pizza carton. It turned out an earthy piece with rugged features, enough to keep toddlers and young children occupied for a hot afternoon.

Here are the materials I used:

-- a pizza carton or box
-- craft glue or a hot glue gun
-- ruler to measure
-- crafting knife or pen knife
-- a newspaper or newsprint to cushion the cuts
-- a pair of scissors
-- some beads that are not so flat end, or a light-weight marble
-- keep some stickers handy to embellish
-- and a marking pen or pencil

I cut the pizza box into two for a start.

Fortunately for me the box had four holes on its base, which I decided to incorporate into the game tray.

You will need to use the ruler, get a rough measure of the thickness to match the pizza carton wall height. And cut the cardboard.

The cut piece will have two holes. The task now is to fix it as the fourth wall to the pizza box, using the protruding edges of the box.

I trimmed the flaps so that they would not interfere with the holes.

And applied glue on the edges. To these, I attached the cut piece of cardboard. You will need to let the piece dry. If it does not work, like in my project, you can resort to some transparent tape and fasten the pieces.

Once this set dries, get the pen knife. And at two point on each wall-base corner, make cuts in such a way that they alternate on either sides.

Cut the slits in such a way that you are able to insert pieces of cardboard, of similar thickness. Keep this aside and get the slide pieces ready. You can use the remaining cardboard from the box flap for this, or get some more thick cardboard from around home.

Using the pen-knife and ruler, fix the cardboard pieces in slots on either sides alternatively. This takes some effort, a bit of push andd pull. Make sure to trim the cardboard pieces a little here and there for fitting them in.

I do not like that gap between the base and wall on one side. But I let it be. To avoid it, you may have to use some extra cardboard while cutting the piece out for a start. Time or embellishments.

As usual, my stash of stickers came in handy. If you want to decorate edges on the outside, you can paint them. But frankly, kids don't care as long as they watch a ball drop on to the slides. Here I used a large bead. You could use a tiny ball. A ping pong ball will not fit into the slotted hole, so if you use it, you will need to place it on the right hand top slide.

Tilt the tray to make sure your bead or ball does not fall off the grid too quick. The one among players who can get it to fall latest in a time slot wins. Or maybe quickest. Enjoy the game with your little pals. It is not a long-lasting piece, but worth the effort. I took all of an hour to get the whole thing right. 

It's all about using a weekend morning to fix it up. 


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