Before I had children, I had a very clear idea of the kind of Mom I’d be. My kids would be the well-behaved ones at the restaurant (no playing under the table for them!); there would be no screaming or fussing on the airplane (heaven forbid!); and I would be the calm, cool and collected self I’d imagined.

Now that I’m Mom to two little darlings, I can tell you that it isn’t always that easy. Even the most well behaved child has a breaking point. For example, my three-year-old is extremely cooperative when we’re out, but I know that when we reach the hour and fifteen-minute mark, he’s going to get antsy.  And, let’s face it, there are times when naps are missed, schedules are ‘off’, or it’s just one of those days. Keeping kids occupied while out-and-about is important – and takes some planning.

So this month I’ve got a fun DIY project for you that will help keep kids occupied. This building bricks (Lego, K’nex, Megablox) play box is the perfect way to store small brick kits and play with them on the go, without worrying about losing pieces. My kids took these on a recent plane trip and they worked like a charm!

You will need:

 

  • Plastic pencil box
  • Lego building plate base
  • Metal ruler or straight edge
  • Heavy duty cutter
  • Hot glue gun or epoxy glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Sparkly/decorative paper (optional)
  • Felt letters (optional)

How to:

1. When choosing a plastic pencil box, buy one that’s at least 5cm tall and has a deep lid (something similar to the one shown below).

DIY Building Bricks Play Box
2. Choose a Lego building plate base size that is an appropriate width for your pencil box, then cut to fit the lid. (My base plate was cut in half to make two boxes.)

DIY Building Bricks Play Box
3. Use sandpaper to smooth the pointy / rough edges left by the cutter.

DIY Building Bricks Play Box
4. Apply hot glue, epoxy or some other heavy duty glue to the lid.

DIY Building Bricks Play Box
5. Set plate base piece in place on the glued area.

DIY Building Bricks Play Box
6. (Optional) I cut out sparkly paper to fit the indentation in the pencil box lid, then glued it in place. I chose different colours for my kids’ boxes.

DIY Building Bricks Play Box
7. (Optional) Use felt adhesive-backed letters to personalize the box.

DIY Building Bricks Play Box
Tip: this project can easily be adapted for toddlers by using a Duplo base plate to accommodate larger blocks.

 

So make your next trip or family outing fun by surprising your child with this cool box! Turn it into a full-fledged play pack by filling it with a small building kit, some snacks, a colouring (or activity) book and crayons. Keep a small stash of dollar store finds so that you can swap out any of the items in a pinch, to keep it new and interesting. You may even find your child will look forward to long trips!


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