Tuesday, 17 June 2014

For the Kids - Graze Box Hacks

A few months ago I signed up to Graze, along with a couple of colleagues. In case you don't know about Graze they send you a selection of snacks in the post as frequently as you wish (weekly, fortnightly...) You can also pick which items you love and those you don't like, and with over 100 choices there's a wide variation and something for everyone.  It's a great way to always have snacks at hand (perfect for when pregnancy hunger  strikes!) and I love that each week it's a surprise what's in my box.

However...you do end up with a lot of boxes! They are cardboard so of course they can be recycled but the hoarder in me just can't bear not to use them somehow. So I started collecting them!

Inspiration struck and I started to turn these boxes into little play scenes for Wiss. The boxes lend themselves to endless scenarios and adaptations, and best of all they can be closed up when not in use so make great portable toys.
Here are the hacks we have made so far:

The Cretaceous Period - Wiss loves dinosaurs and has loads of toys ones. We made the Cretaceous period for them to hang out in using images found on the Internet. These were spray mounted to the inside of the box, then I added some foam sprayed green for the hills, miniature trees and a little blue stream.

Race Track - One of Wiss' other loves is Lightening McQueen and the Cars films. I made this track for his little Micro Machines to race on. I found the graphic online and stuck it across the whole box, then simply added some chevrons around the edges. A picture of Lewis Hamilton in his Formula 1car on the front means that Wiss can identify the box by himself.

London in a Box - we chose London but this could equally work with any city or town. It could be a good way to introduce a new place to a child before a holiday, or perhaps even better made afterwards as a memento of somewhere visited. I printed out a London scene for the backdrop, and the EastEnders aerial map is on the base of the box! Key landmarks were just stuck onto card and then a little block or tab added at the back to enable them to stand up.

Outer Space - I let Wiss loose to make his own box and he came up with this! He covered the box in black tissue paper, added sequin stars, foam planets and even made an egg box satellite!

Laptop - the shape of the Graze boxes lend themselves perfectly to being made in to a laptop. Wiss made the keys of the computer by writing on foam blocks but you could use card, and then I made the screen using a sheet of acetate. I stuck this on three sides only, leaving the top open so that any pictures can be inserted to create various screens. (It would work just as well by using an A4 clear plastic pocket) Admittedly this laptop is not quite as much fun as an iPad, but Wiss has still played with it a lot!

Marble Run - This one has been a huge success! I lined the base of the box with bright coloured paper then stuck foam walls at various intervals allowing for a marble to pass through the gaps. Make sure the gaps are staggered to make the maze a little harder. Then cut a hole in each side to allow the marble to be put in, and drop out at the end. My mind has been racing with ideas of harder and more elaborate marble runs to make next!

A quick search on the internet has brought up lots of other ideas for recycling Graze boxes - 3D picture frames, filing systems, homemade book covers.... I'd love to hear about any other ideas you may have. And if you make some Graze box hacks then please do share the photos with me - either leave a link below, find me on Facebook as This is Wiss or tweet me a picture @thisiswiss. Happy making!


  1. Wow! You are a graze box genius, love these :) xx

    1. Thank you! They were so much fun to make too. I think we have to make one of our holiday...! x

  2. I love these ideas! So much thought and effort has obviously been put into them :)

    1. Thank you very much! I'm sure we'll be making more as the ideas just keep coming!

  3. Saw this on the Graze Facebook page. Very cool, very creative.

  4. Awesome ideas, I've been looking for a craft to put our graze boxes too. Can't wait to show these to my girls.

  5. Lovely ideas! Quite creative and a good recycling example for the little ones. My sister has Graze boxes at home and I'm sure she'll be glad to reuse them this way. Our boys will go crazy about such a race track and a dinosaur world box. Thank you for the inspiration!


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