Part of our goal at “The Forever Years” is to share ideas that parents and carers might enjoy doing with their children. I remember doing these “box TVs” as a kid and loving them, so tried them again recently with our kids. They really enjoyed them too and love seeing “their” videos played back over and over.
You need a cardboard box, two pencils, some sellotape and some paper. Open one end of the box and cut a hole in one side of your box (to be the “TV screen”). Cut the paper into strips that are wide enough and high enough to fit in your box. With your child, write a story and draw pictures on the strips, one page of the story for each strip (numbering the strips keeps them in order). Our kids enjoyed making up their own stories from scratch, while I wrote them down. Tape the strips of paper together in order and tape one end to a pencil. Then roll the strip around the pencil, after first inserting it into one end of the box. The ends of the pencil should be sticking up so you can “turn” your story on your TV. When you get to the last strip of paper, tape it onto another pencil, which will be inserted at the other end of the box. Close the open end of the box and seal it with tape.I will put videos of the ones we made below, as these show clearly what the “TVs” should look like when finished.
This idea is simple, but very effective and kids love it… there’s something entrancing about seeing your own story rolling past. I hope you and your kids will enjoy it too… let me know, there may be other creative ideas using this basic one too (one of my older sons has already suggested making a long steam train with lots of carriages, as he loves trains). Good luck!
My daughter’s “TV” in action:
My son’s “TV” in action: