Monday, February 23, 2015

Wild Kratts: DIY Field Case

Thing One is a big Wild Kratts fan.  For his birthday he got a couple of toy sets that came with animal action figures, the brothers, and creature power discs. I love that these sets are small and don't take up much space, but since they are so small they are easily lost! So, when we were taking apart the box the toys came in, I had an idea: we could use the box to make a Wild Kratts suit case to keep everyone safe.  It seems like lots of toys are packaged this way, so I'm sharing our toy-packaging-turned-suit-case so that maybe you too will be able to wrangle small toys by simply repurposing the box they came in. 

On the right is the original box (we had two of these sets), inside was the clear plastic tray in front, which was lined with the blue cardboard on the case. So we had two plastic trays and two pieces of blue cardboard that fit exactly over them. To make the case you just need one of the plastic trays and both pieces of blue cardboard. Flip one plastic tray over and fold one cardboard over it hot gluing it to all the edges. This makes the bottom of the case.



To make the handle, I used an Exacto knife to slice two slits into the plastic. I slid some ribbon through and hot glued the ends to the inside. 


Then we just glued the bottom of the other piece of cardboard into the inside of the box to be the top that will open. I had to trim a little cardboard off of the top of each side flap so that it closes easily. 


Then you can tuck the side flaps in and fold the top piece over the bottom. To keep the case closed we hot glued small velcro tabs to the top.



On the inside of the case I hot glued a plastic pencil bag that I had saved from an old planner. You can cut these to any size, just make sure to make a hot glue "stopper"at the end so the zipper doesn't zip right off. Then I hot glued around three sides and covered up my messy glue with wash tape. You could probably make this out of even a zip-top sandwich bag, or a cheap pencil case. This pouch is perfect for the small creature power discs. We also cut out a few Wild Kratts logos and such from the toy package and glued them in there.



I made Thing One and Thing Two their own creature power suits about a year ago (you can buy them also of course, here) and Thing One has been making his own power discs ever since. I cut out a bunch of white circles that fit in his suit so he can make a disc whenever he wants (and it's not an emergency for me to cut one out during the first two minutes of the show). Sometimes he wants me to draw the animal. I will not claim which of these are mine, except to say that his artwork is far better than mine. He knows it now too. He doesn't even ask anymore. : )


We also cut out some power discs from a cereal box once (below right). The new field case will be great for storing the many homemade power discs as well. 


It's fun to have a few "real" Wild Kratts toys, but I also love that he can be imaginative and make up his own stuff to go with the show. Wild Kratt lovers can also print out some things for free at the PBS website (printable are available at the parents site, here). We printed this  adventure passport and these bookmarks, which would be great for a Wild Kratts party.


I both teach and volunteer in our public schools, and when I hear about some of the stuff the young(!) kids are watching, it makes me so thankful for PBS kids. This is the only station we let our kids watch, and I'm really thankful for the educational and age appropriate programing they provide.

To find free PBS kids activities visit the kids site for online games, etc., here
and visit the PBS kids for parents site here, for printable and hands on activities you can do with your kids. Just click on the show you want for more activities to go with that show.

WHAT IF! watching TV could be a great connecting point because we did it with our kids and talked about what they are watching and then took it further into real life activities, problem solving, and research? I think it can be.

Here's to imagination, favorite shows and repurposing! Let me know if you are able to reusing packing creatively like this, I'd love to see what you made!

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