Do your kids eat a lot of cereal? Mine are semi obsessed. I regretfully taught them what a buffet is and now they request a cereal buffet almost every morning. Oh well, at least I figured out that they can pour their own milk if I leave a small pitcher of milk on the table. Go independent children! Anyway, we go through a lot of cereal boxes around here so we decided to tinker with them a little bit and turn our box into some really happy art. My 2 and half year old and I made this one together using a tinker tray. If you have older children they may be able to do this independently or with minimal help. Either way, I love this project because the possibilities are endless. Here’s what we did.
*Note about Tinker Trays. If you click the link you will see a typical Reggio inspired tinker tray, but tinker trays can be made in all kinds of ways. Here we used a recycled apple crate. Easy peasy.
An adult will need to prime the cereal box with white gesso. Gesso is great because it goes on really opaque turning the box white with pretty much one coat. It dries really fast as well. If you don’t have gesso, you can use tempera or acrylic paint. It just make take a few more coats. Let the box dry completely. Leave the flaps on the open side open for now.
When your box is dry, take black paint or a big thick black marker and make a smiley face or whatever picture you want. You can do a house, a car, a garden, anything that makes you happy or you think might make your child happy. Ask your child what they want or if they’re older, let them do whatever they want.
Fill your tinker tray with all the goodies. You don’t need a lot of items but some colorful options are always fun. You can see we were big into pom poms, gems and beads. Glue them anywhere you want. I talked to D about a border after we decorated the face. I love introducing kids to borders because they are often a way to keep kids engaged in their art. We did the top and bottom border before my two and half year old was ready to move on and it adds a lot to the picture I think.
Take a pipe cleaner, string or piece of wire and string some beads on it. A pipe cleaner is probably easiest. On the open flap from where you poured the cereal, stick a skewer or scissor through the flap to make two holes about 3 or 4 inches apart. You can also use a hole puncher. Stick the pipe cleaner through the holes for a handle. Bend each end so it doesn’t come out and then glue the flap down so the box is closed. The bent pipe cleaner edges will be inside the box so you don’t see them. This part is a little tricky, but I have faith in you! The handle adds such charm. My daughter loves to carry her art around the house and hang it on her doorknob.
I swear, this art makes my little one so happy. She is totally proud of it as if she did the entire thing by herself. I love it too! For more recycled ideas try this self portrait shadow box or these cardboard rainbows. Thanks for reading along everyone and Happy Spring!