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).


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)


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

Love the Moment Challenge — July

June Re-Cap

love the moment challenge june pics

I challenge myself to think outside the box as I live life so I can find creative ways of doing things. The June Love the Moment Challenge was about that very concept.  Below are some of the things I did that were outside the box (corresponding with the pictures above, left to right).

1. Be true to who you are: Share something you enjoy with your child

I love hiking and exploring in the bush. So my son and I went on a short 10 minute bush walk. We both loved the adventure! And it’s something we now often do together.

2. Be brave: Do something that may not come naturally to you

The brave thing I did this month was to fly to Sydney to have my hair coloured and styled. While it was really fun, it was also very out of the ordinary for me. And I don’t like flying. At all.

3. Be Adventurous: Do something out of the ordinary

The children and I explored some different streets and found a beautiful spot on top of a hill. The view was amazing!

4. Be Creative: Do something a little differently

My two older girls and I sometimes watch Masterchef together. Usually, I sit with my laptop while they lie together on the sofa. This time, I left my computer and I asked them if I could try and squeeze on the sofa with them.  I can’t believe it, but we all (just) fit. It was lovely to snuggle.

5. Be Imaginative: Pretend you’re an expert at something

I’ve been knitting a scarf for my daughter. I don’t really know how to knit anything else but it’s fun to take my knitting with me places like a real pro. I’m such a “try hard”. HA!

The lovely Neen from Neenish Arts has also been blogging about the challenge. I love reading her posts. Here they are:

Love the Moment Challenge — July

This month’s Love the Moment Challenge is like a month long treasure hunt.  That’s a pretty awesome concept! It doesn’t take very long and is something for kids to look forward to.  The idea is to make a “Discovery Box” and each day, fill it with the something found in relation to the day’s subject. Here are a few examples:

  • Find something pink: this may be a pink toy, a milk bottle lid, a hair clip or a plastic spoon from Wendy’s Ice cream
  • Find a stick: keep in mind it has to fit in the discovery box
  • Find something rough: this could be bark, sand paper or corrugated paper

At the end of the month, you’ll have a wonderful collection of items…and wonderful memories too.

Make a Discovery Box

discovery box

Our Discovery Box is made from a shoe box wrapped in gift paper. You can also use brown paper and allow the kids to draw over it.  Another idea is to glue pictures from junk mail or magazines over the entire box.  You can also use a plastic container and decorate it with stickers.  Below are a variety of free printable labels you can use.

{click the picture for the printer friendly PDF file}

Discovery Box Labels

{click the picture for the printer friendly PDF file}

Love the moment challenge July

Enjoy a month long treasure hunt! A month of discovery!

A month of memories! A month of moments!

Previous Love the Moment Challenges

Love the Moment