Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ocean In A Box

Make your own Ocean In a Box Sensory Box. 

So Being the resourceful (read: green not cheap) mother that I am,
I like to make my own version of cool toys for my girls to play with.
I saw these really cool My Sandbox Kits (10"x 10".)
I loved the ocean mermaid box but they're kind of small.

So, I decided to be the artsy (read: clever, brilliant, and modest)
mama that I am and make our own Ocean Sensory box at home with stuff we already had.

I found an empty underbed-style storage box in the garage and thought it would be a better size
(so both girls can play in it at the same time.)

Then the girls helped me collect assorted mermaids,
fish, sea shells (real and the mini macaroni kind), polly pockets, and plastic mini trees
from the playroom menagerie to populate our "underwater" world.
The only thing we had to buy at the store were 2 small bags of new/clean turquoise aquarium gravel
(there was no way I was going to use sand in the house)
and 2 fake plastic aquarium plants/coral from the fish section at WalMart.

The girls (and I must admit myself as well) love playing in their new ocean habitat.
You could even make your own coral and plants out of Fimo or modeling clay with your kids.

It is so popular with my daughters that I'm thinking about making them as gifts
for the umpteen million birthday parties we'll be attending in the coming school year.
* Update: We gave a few of these boxes as gifts to friends and they were a HUGE hit!* 

How cool would that gift be?
Little do my daughters know that I'm plotting to surprise them
this Christmas with a Winter Wonderland sensory box
made out of another under bed box and dry rice "snow"
to be populated by some penguins, polar bears, a dogsled, an igloo, and some eskimos!

Think about the possibilities:
Construction trucks with brown fish tank gravel,
mini horses with a stable and oatmeal ground cover,
space men and aliens on Moon Sand.
* Update: We made all of the sensory boxes list above and they're so much fun!*

To see our complete list of sensory boxes, 
check out my Sensory Box 101 Post! 

Who says homemade gifts aren't fun?!


Becky said...

I think that is really cute! I was thinking, "I'm totally gonna do that." Then I realized that my two year-old would throw that gravel everywhere. I think I might have to wait a bit. But I love how yours turned out!

Jessica said...

I love this project. We'll have to try it this coming winter (your polar bear idea).


Jessica a.k.a. Green Mamma

Kristen Andrews said...

that is really creative! Very good hands on!

BudgetPretty said...

What an awesome idea! I found your blog on Today's Creative Blog by the way..

I'm making this for my 4yr old daughter this weekend! Thanks!

Kylie said...

What a great idea. One of our school suppilers is selling a large version of this (professionally made of course) for hundreds of dollars......I think yours is way better. We are about to take a look at Rock Pools shortly, I am off to empty one of under bed storage boxes now!

Granola said...

I came to you looking for just this kind of thing. I rememberd your farm and thought perhaps you had an oceany version. :) We're studing the oceans, currents, etc in school this week and I think my boys will love this! Thank you!!

Lisa said...

Love the idea of the gravel, instead of rice. I'm thinking it might be less messy.

By the way, here are the pictures of our fishy party, which was partly insprired by your great party.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. :)

Sarah McDonald said...

I ran across this post recently and ran with it! I love the idea and I think I will be adding more to it. Come and check out what I added to mine.


Thanks for the idea!

Children of Eve said...

We have the same "ocean in a box"! It started out a home for our 2 hermit crabs (with real shells and natural things), but now it looks just like this one with all the sea toys. Funny.

Karla said...

This is too funny... I just added one of those little sandboxes to my Amazon wish list for my daughter. AND, while looking for ocean-themed sensory bin ideas for homeschooling my kiddos, I came across your post! Guess I'll be making my own. :)

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