Thursday, November 1, 2012

Grattitude Box

Who's it for?
The whole family will be able to enjoy looking at the box, and a preschooler can certainly learn from using the box, but the craft itself is probably best reserved for slightly older kids (first grade or so).  

What's It For?
The idea is to start using it right on November first.  As the month progresses you clip things for which you are grateful to the box each day of the month leading up to thanksgiving.  It acts as a countdown to thanksgiving and then, when all the clips are full you have 25 items (or so, depending on the month) to be thankful for on thanksgiving day!  Since it is also a box, the clips can easily store away inside the box until next year when you can start all over again.

Things you need:  
- Craft sticks - large size (Popsicle sticks).
- an old cocoa box, coffee can, or other container with a snap, on lid that is large enough to hold     approximately 30 clothespins,  
- 30 clothespins.
- small decorative items to use on the pins of your choosing (we used silk leaves, stickers glued to a craft foam sheet, and buttons in fall colors.
-Rubber bands
- Glue (hot glue might be a little quicker and easier, but Elmer's all purpose or a generic brand is safer and more accessible to the younger kids. 

What to Do: 
1.  Clean the box.
2.  Glue the craft sticks around the box making sure to align them so they do not interfere with the lid.
3.  Place rubber bands over craft sticks at top and bottom (and middle if needed) to help hold them in place until the glue dries thoroughly.  While this is done a younger child can glue decorations onto the clothespins.  It is important the child be old enough not to eat the buttons and small decor items! It is also important that he or she understand to only put one bead of glue along one side of the clothespin.  Let dry.  

Note: if you are using stickers on foam sheets, they don't stick well
for long - I recommend glue for these too.

4.  Add a few more craft sticks, strategically to create spacers.  These will create space between a ribbon and the container leaving you room for a second place to clip your clothespins in a later step.  See photo to right.  Allow project to dry.

5. Place drops of glue on the "spacer" craft sticks in a horizontal line around the center of the box and then place a ribbon over these glue dots.  Tie tightly and allow for dry time.  Place box lid inside box, and position clothespins around box lip and ribbon (one for each day remaining until Thanksgiving).  Add a gratitude note daily to a clothespin until Thanksgiving day.  Enjoy your month of grateful thoughts.

Decorate the Clothespins if you Wish
This project can be adjusted to act as a countdown calendar to any holiday or an advent calendar (In the case of use as an advent calendar, place the notes on before hand with reminders about holy days and traditions, and things you need to do as a family to be ready for the holiday).

Obviously you will choose a different color and decor scheme depending on the holiday chosen, but the same basic idea and procedures are still in play in these circumstances.

It can also be adjusted to be a chore assigner.  Choose weekly chores and make sturdy cards with one chore on one side.  Clip the cards to the clothespins so your kids can't see the chores from which they are choosing.  Each child pulls a chore card and that is the chore that child is in charge of on that day.  The card then goes in the box until the following week.  Do this each day until all the weekly chores have been completed.  No more arguments with you about whether your choice was "fair" or not.  You can color - code the card for different age levels if your have multiple ability levels.  You would simply color the side of the cards that does not have the chore on it according to whatever age ranges you feel fit your kids and your family needs best.  For example, Kids 3-5 might have blue, while kids 5-9 would have green and kids 10 and older could have yellow. 

Have fun!  I'd love to hear your thoughts after you've given it a go and know what you used the project idea for  with your family.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments!