Category Archives: reuse boxes

MYO Butterfly Metamorphosis Observatory Out Of A Cardboard Box

Fill the holes with screen. If you are lucky you will have some screen salvaged from a screen door or window. You could buy screen new but why? It is better to make use of something on its way to a landfill.metamorphosis observatory

You can easily make a beautiful Metamorphosis Observatory. It’s a safe place to care for a caterpillar and a great way for you to watch their amazing transformation. I made this one many years ago and it has fostered lots of caterpillars over the years.

black swallowtail butterfly

How to:
Find a cardboard box. I think I used the box my blender came in. Use a ruler to mark a border around all the edges. I used the width of the ruler Instead of doing a lot of measuring.
Use a box cutter or exacto knife (careful!) to make a hole in four sides (not the top and bottom).
Find butterfly and flower pictures from last year’s seed catalogs or unwanted magazines etc…
Paste on pictures coving the whole exterior of the box.
I applied varnish (optional) on the inside and the outside of the box so it would last longer.

Fill the holes with screen. If you are lucky you will have some screen salvaged from a screen door or window. You could buy screen new but why? It is better to make use of something on its way to a landfill.

When you find an interesting caterpillar chomping on a plant, put it along with some of the plant, into the Metamorphosis Observatory. To keep the plant fresher, put the stems into a container of water. Replace the plant until the caterpillar is satisfied and begins its transformation. We found that it was necessary to cover the water with plastic to keep the wondering caterpillars safe.
Or place the branch with a found chrysalis on it into the box.
Once your caterpillar have come out of its chrysalis, give it time and space to let its wings expand and then be sure to let it go. This box was not meant to house the butterfly.

Swallowtail butterfly on child's arm
She’s full of wonder.

monarch butterfly emerges
A monarch emerges from its chrysalis.

Robot Costume For Children: Eco-Friendly Fun

friendly robot costume

My daughter and I had a lot of fun making this goofy robot costume. I did all the cutting and she thought of all the embellishments. I love it when she comes up with great ideas on her own. At our robot party, we made sure we took photos of all the kids wearing the costume. The videos were even better.

Here is a cute/ funny video. Someday I hope to do a little video editing to change the sound track to something a robot would dance to.
To make this costume, we took two boxes and cut a hole for the face and another hole for a child’s head to go up into the head box.
This costume was made entirely with recycled items: cardboard boxes, broken calculator (very cool don’t you think?!), bottle tops (make good knobs), broken watch, previously used but clean aluminum foil, antennas (from broken radios)… even the arms were made from a salvaged piece of dryer vent. So many possibilities.
This project took very little time to complete.
We made this costume for a robot party but you can make one for a Halloween costume or anytime the kids have some free time.
You may want to check out our robot building game that doubles as a party favor.

Empty Boxes Make Great Building Blocks For Kid Fort Building

My daughter couldn’t wait to build herself this hide-away stocked with books, pillows and a flashlight. She even constructed a roof out of flattened boxes.

This photo shows part of a multi-room playhouse.

Give a kid a pile of boxes and he or she will be busy for hours and it doesn’t cost anything.
Such play allows children the opportunity to be engineers, architects, and builders. Boxes stack up to become walls, holes left become windows (or peep holes)… I love seeing all the creative ideas they come up with, such as strings that pull the door closed from the inside and then lock, built-in kitchen cabinets, box tables, and so much more… Today they may choose to build a multi-room palace and tomorrow a cozy reading nook fort. The possibilities are endless.

Are you expecting kids over for the holidays and don’t have any toys or you have toys but want something different to do? If so, introduce them to box blocks.

How to:

Collect the boxes prior to their arrival. Have a few things on hand like scissors and markers. There is nothing more to it!

Store the boxes stacked against the wall in an unused corner or in the garage.
Reuse or recycle boxes when done playing with them.