Discovery Box

This is fun for kids and good way to recycle old shoe boxes - make a Discovery Box for kids to keep their little treasures

We love exploring as much as we can as a family.  Australia is a vast and beautiful country, and there’s so much natural wonder in our backyard.  On our many adventures, my kids enjoy collecting little bits and bobs along the way, from bottle caps for a Bottle Cap Game they made up to pretty fallen leaves.  On our last trip up the D’Aguilar Ranges, we saw a beautiful (AND HUGE!) snake on the road. There’s a video here.

Go exploring with Kids

At different times during the parenting journey — depending on how old the respective child is and their interests — I make up Discovery Boxes out of a recycled shoeboxes for the kids to keep their collections in.   

idea on using empty shoe box

I’ve wrapped shoe boxes in wrapping paper before, to make it look pretty (like this one). 

make a discovery box

This time, my youngest daughter and I made a discovery box covered in decorate tape, which matches the other little decorative projects we’ve been working on (it looks so pretty in her room which is fun).

Materials

Decorative Tape or wrapping paper  (I used Scotch® Expressions Packing Tape & Magic Tape)

White paper (if you want to cover patterns or brands on the box)

Glue

Step 1

Glue paper roughly to the box if you’re using light coloured paper or tape.   This way, you can cover any brand names and that sort of thing. I used it on the tops and sides.

This is fun for kids and good way to recycle old shoe boxes - make a Discovery Box for kids to keep their little treasures

Step 2

Cover box with pieces of tape (vertically or horizontally).  Horizontal tape around the base of the box makes it very easy because you can wrap it around the perimeter of the base until the ends meet.

This is fun for kids and good way to recycle old shoe boxes - make a Discovery Box for kids to keep their little treasures

Step 3

Add a Discovery Box label if desired. I typed the font in Word, printed it and cut to size.

This is fun for kids and good way to recycle old shoe boxes - make a Discovery Box for kids to keep their little treasures

 Just a cute box for little treasures small people find interesting.

Another idea is to have a list of prompts for children to find on a daily, weekly or whenever-you-fancy basis.  Below is some ideas I’ve jotted down that could instigate fun moments and interesting conversations.

Discovery Box

  1. Find a flower, lay between baking paper and press in a book.  Add to the box in a month. For best results, laminate the pressed flower (and you can even turn it into a bookmark).
  2. On the Internet or in a book, look for pictures of a place you would like to visit together.
  3. Go on a colour hunt: find 5 things that are yellow, blue, red, green, purple, pink or whatever colour!
  4. Look up the meaning of your name and write it on a piece of paper.
  5. Collect a cool looking stick (and paint it for something awesome).
  6. Write a letter to yourself to read a year on (remember to date it).
  7. Look for a seed pod (make into a boat on a rainy day)
  8. Go on a shape hunt: find 2 things that are triangle, round or rectangle.
  9. See how many different coins you can find around the house. Pick one. Look up the year it was made and more about the image.  Write a few key points or draw a picture on an envelope, slip the coin in and keep in the box.
  10. Go on a texture hunt: find 1 thing that is rough, smooth, soft or shiny.
  11. Cut out a picture you like from a magazine or junk mail.
  12. Something from the beach.
  13. Something from the backyard.
  14. Something recycled.
  15. Find three different types of leaves.
  16. Look for a special rock (and make it a pet by gluing on google eyes).
  17. Take a photograph, get it printed, write on the back how it made you feel.
  18. Draw something you see outside.
  19. Look up an interesting word in the dictionary and write down what it means on a piece of paper.
  20. A picture of someone you love.

You can print a PDF version by clicking the picture below.

Discovery Box Prompts

 

Other Links

5 Ways to Use Decorative Tape Around the Home

105 Ways to Enjoy Nature with Kids

5 Ideas for Using Decorative Tape Around the House

Sponsored by 3M (s1 post)

ways to use decorative tape - 3M Scotch Expressions - on beafunmum.com

Scotch® Expressions Packaging Tape

Scotch® Expressions Magic™ Tape

I love this stuff because I can make regular and recycled items around the house look awesome, colourful and funky. Oh, and there’s the kids too: as my children get older, I need to cater for their own projects (rather than being a facilitator and instigator) and they love the tape too!

I’ve been going berserk with the tape around the house, from decorating juice bottle vases to wrapping a pass the parcel game for my daughter’s 8th birthday party.   It’s fun to use and the 3M Scotch Expressions Magic Tape is easy to remove (the masking tape is stronger so more difficult to remove).

I’m sharing five ways to use decorative tape around the house and another five in a post next week.

Make it Amazing

3M Scotch Expressions Tape is a brilliant addition to the family stationery stash and you can show off your creations (and be in the running to win an iPad mini) in the Make it Amazing competition on the Scotch Australia & New Zealand Facebook page. There’s heaps of inspiration ideas too:

Australia: www.makeitamazing.com.au

New Zealand: www.makeitamazing.co.nz

3M Scotch Expressions Tape -  Make it Amazing campaign

5 Ways to Use Decorative Tape in The Home

1.    Coat Hanger Children’s Artwork Display

Pant hangers with clips can be used to hang children’s artwork on the wall.  It’s easy to change the artwork as fresh pieces come along.  To make it bright and fun, decorate the hangers with happy coloured tape.

ways to use decorative tape - 3M Scotch Expressions - on beafunmum.com

Materials

Pant Coat Hangers

3M Command Hooks

Scotch Expressions Tape

Instructions

1. Cut sections of tape about 10-15 cm in length (enough to wind around the hanger with a slight overlap)

2. Press each section of tape down around the hanger until covered to satisfaction.

3. Place on the wall using hooks and display artwork as a feature.

Pant hangers with clips can be used to hang children’s artwork on the wall.  It’s easy to change the artwork as fresh pieces come along.  To make it bright and fun, decorate the hangers with happy coloured tape.

Pant hangers with clips can be used to hang children’s artwork on the wall.  It’s easy to change the artwork as fresh pieces come along.  To make it bright and fun, decorate the hangers with happy coloured tape.

2.    Secure Artwork

Another way too store children’s artwork is to use tape to secure artwork to a wall.  It looks funky. I used 3M Scotch Expressions Magic tape in purple here for my daughter’s windmill picture.

decorative tape

3. Juice Bottle Vase

So easy, it’s ridiculous.  These are great for a themed area or birthday party decorations.  Put a posy of flowers in to brighten a room or use to store pencils.

Use Decorative Tape to decoration juice bottles for cute vases - on beafunmum.com

Materials

Empty Juice Bottles

3M Scotch Expressions Packing Tape

Instructions

  1. Lay a section of tape evenly around the juice bottle.
  2. Cut tape to length and smooth out.

Use Decorative Tape to decoration juice bottles for cute vases - on beafunmum.com

Use Decorative Tape to decoration juice bottles for cute vases - on beafunmum.com

 

Use decorative tape to create cute juice bottle vases - on beafunmum.com

4. Book Cover

Loved this little project because I created a cute colour themed area by simply gathering items around the house and giving it a fresh look.

Use decorative tape to cover a notebook - tutorial on beafunmum.com

Materials

3M Scotch Expressions Packing Tape

3M Scotch Expressions Magic Tape

Notepad (horizontal stripes)

Instructions

  1. Lay sections of tape to cover the notepad, allowing about 1-3 cm overhang to secure on the inside cover.
  2. Don’t worry too much about making the left hand side exactly even (I’ll tell you why below).
  3. For edge corner sections, cut a small triangle (as shown) before securing on the inside cover.
  4. To make sure the edges don’t eventually peel up, use a section of tape along the left edge vertically, overlapping slightly and secure on the inside cover (I used purple tape here).
  5.  Create a cute themed area by using matching tape on plastic tumblers or juice bottles for pen and pencil holders.

1.

decorative tape ideas: cover a notebook - on beafunmum.com

 2.

decorative tape ideas: cover a notebook - on beafunmum.com

3.

decorative tape ideas: cover a notebook - on beafunmum.com

4.

decorative tape ideas: cover a notebook - on beafunmum.com

decorative tape ideas: cover a notebook - on beafunmum.com

5.

decorative tape ideas: cover a notebook - on beafunmum.com

Tip: Vertical stripes work gorgeously too.

Tip:  Great for school books.

5 . The $2 Jar

Create a $2 jar to save all your $2 coins. A 750ml jar will hold over $1,000 - on beafunmum.com

I’ve done this many times throughout my adult life and it’s an easy way to save a small stash for something special. Great for kids too! The idea is to have a specified jar for all $2 coins that come into your possession.  I’ve experimented on how much you can fit in a 600ml coke bottle (you can find out here).

If you want to save over $1,000 you need approximately a 750 ml bottle or jar. I decided to make a cute jar for our $2 coins and here it is.

Create a $2 jar to save all your $2 coins. A 750ml jar will hold over $1,000 - on beafunmum.com

Materials

3M Scotch Expressions Magic Tape

Jar

Permanent Marker

Instructions

  1. If using a square jar, lay section of tape from the outsides and work your way into the middle.  For cylinder jars, measure and mark around the jar for evenly spaced stripes. It’s easy to pull the tape off if you make a mistake.  Horizontal stripes work brilliantly on a cylinder jar.
  2. Using a permanent marker, name the jar and start saving.

make a decorative jar with tape

Here’s a (slightly ridiculous) video of $1,000 in a jar.

Make it Amazing Campaign

The Make It Amazing campaign has started. Get inspired, make something amazing with Scotch® Expressions Tape. Follow the links below for inspiration, ideas and more information:

3M Scotch Expressions Tape

Australia: www.makeitamazing.com.au

New Zealand: www.makeitamazing.co.nz

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by 3M. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Decorative Tape Cupcake Flag Toppers

Cupcake Flag Toppers

Make these cute cupcake toppers in a jiffy. Toothpicks, tape and scissors is all there is to it!  This is a great way to tie in cupcakes treats into the theme of the party.

For an easy cupcake recipe, click here: Easy Cupcake Recipe.

Make cupcake flags out of decorative tape

Materials

Toothpick

Decorative Tape (I used Scotch® Expressions Tape)

Instructions

1. Take a small piece of tape fold around the top section of the toothpick.

2. Trim tape to desired shape.

Make cupcake flags out of decorative tape - on beafunmum.com

 

A fun way to tie in decorations for your next party or gathering.