WARNING: Complete this tutorial at your own risk. If toy is played with, children will not be able to control their urge to take every wipe out of wipes boxes and/or tissues out of Kleenex boxes ever again.
So, my mom made Kinley a really cool toy that she loves for her birthday. And in doing so, she also unleashed a monster. A tissue destroying, wipes wasting, way too adorable monster.
It's really simple, this toy, and it has already provided hours of entertainment for sweet baby Seahorse. My mom said she found the idea for this project on a great blog called Counting Coconuts. It's just a wipes box filled with rectangular scraps of fabric. The idea is for Kinley to push the button to open the lid (her favorite part,) and reach her little hand in the slot to grab the scraps and pull them out. There are all sorts of fabrics in there so it's kind of a sensory project, but it also requires a lot of fine motor skill to push the button and grab the fabrics through the little hole. My mom suggested, too, that when Kin is a little older she will be able to sort the different fabrics into piles by color or texture, etc.
My mom made Kinley's box out of a Huggies wipes box and I think that was a smart choice even though we are a loyal Pampers house. The Huggies box has a cool rubbery, easy-to-push button and it uses the same rubber around the slot where the wipes come out. It feels really cool, but it also makes it a little more challenging for little hands to pull the fabric scraps out in big wads. Plus, Huggies boxes are pretty. So obviously, if you've got another brand's box on hand, use that, but if not and you have a great coupon for Huggies wipes, this would be a great time to use it.
All you really have to do is cut some fabric into rectangles--Kinley's box has about 25 or 30 of them. I'm not sure what method my mom used for making all the rectangles the same size, but I would just make a pattern and trace and cut them all out. The ones Grammie made are about 3 inches x 4 inches, and they fit through the slot perfectly. She sewed the edges of some of them (brown polka dot one in the picture,) but that took too long and she ran out of time before Kinley's birthday, so on the rest she just put some Fray-Check on the edges. Both ways work great.
Kinley loves her sensory surprise box and she has played with it every day since she got it for her birthday a month ago.
It just occurred to me that you don't have to use fabric if you don't have any on hand or you don't have time with a kid running around to cut and sew/Fray Check 30 rectangles. You could fill the box up with ribbon or paper scraps or whatever you want to, really. Get creative! :)
Now before you hand this awesome new toy that you made for pennies over to your tiny human, go do a quick run through the house and make sure all wipes and tissues are out of reach from tiny human hands because no one wants this cheap project to turn crazy expensive.
I wish my sensory surprise box would've come with a warning label like this tutorial has. I wasn't prepared for the consequences like you are.