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One of the great things about maintaining a blog is you get forced to do things, especially when you think it’s impossible to get it to fit to your schedule, so you could have something new to blog about.

I’ve been planning since forever to create educational toys for Asha (hey, first time I actually mentioned her name in a post!) but I’ve been finding myself getting lazier and lazier by the day.

About three hours ago, I decided to finally have this one thing crossed off my list. It was perfect timing since it is the partner’s rest day and therefore there is someone who can watch over the daughter (he works nights).

May I present to you my size/shape-color-logic-spatial recognition-fine motor skills play-based learning box. Of course, I got the inspiration from Pinterest and from various other play-based and free range learning sites in the blogosphere.

slightly unfinished

The materials I used are pretty simple. I was actually shooting for the moon when I planned it but I realized that I will never get things done if I do not go realistic and resourceful.

– cardboard box (I used a shoebox)
– white cartolina (to cover the black box)
– Xacto knife or cutter and/or scissors
– coloring materials (I used colored pens instead of acrylic paint)
– glue
– Mod Podge (optional, I just wanted to have the reason to use it)
– brush and container for the Mod Podge application

1) Gather your materials and prepare your work area.


2) Cover the box with white paper.
That is, if it is too dark for the color to come through. You may skip this part if you do not want the box to include color recognition but I wanted to make one that hits multiple birds at a time.

But first, some intermission…

3) Make random holes and slots.
This will vary on the trinkets that you have for playing. Since I had baby food jar lids, I made slots that fit the small and large lid variants. There were also a few holes for inserting long objects like straws and sticks. I made the holes from underneath, by the way, although it would have been better to do it from the top to avoid tearing the paper.

4) Just use your creativity if you want to add more accessories.
I have been in search for months for pipe cleaners (actually called fuzzy wires here in the Philippines) and I finally found them but they seemed a little expensive than my liking. Anyway, I inserted a few pieces as shown in the picture and also added metal paper clips (?) through them since I did not have beads around.

5) Color around the holes and slots.
This one is optional if you want color recognition to be included. This one’s still partial though. I already have colored drinking straws so some of the holes had been colored around. I have yet to color the jar lids so the daughter can match the lid to the slot of the same color.

6) Make the box sturdier so it doesn’t fall apart easily.
This is especially helpful if your daughter bangs around things a lot. I also brushed some Mod Podge all over the paper so it sticks better and it becomes more sturdy. I realized the color smudges around when applied with decoupage so I tapped on the colored areas instead.

7) Let it dry.

8) Wait until the next day to see the daughter play with your latest piece of DIY art.

Well, she actually did play a bit when I was able to make about three slots. She loves getting involved with whatever the partner and I are doing so it will no longer be a surprise tomorrow. Okay maybe the colors will be.


...testing out the waters...

...and then realizing it was much easier to get the lids into the box by opening it than by getting it through the slots. hahaha!

Happy playing and learning!


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