Tuesday, August 3, 2010

ID Mommy Projects: Recycle Happy Meal Boxes into Toy Houses!

I must have paper crafts on the brain, because last week when I treated Sammy to a McDonald's Happy Meal for lunch, my warped mind saw a little toy house.  It wasn't long before I had created a pattern to color, cut, and glue on to his Happy Meal box to turn it into a little cardboard house.

Luckily for all of you, I've just uploaded the pdf patterns for you to download for free, at my design site!  Like the road construction playset, I have it available in black and white (for your little Picasso to color), or already in color if you just want to get straight to playing house.

Here's how we did it...

Supplies: Happy Meal box, scissors, glue, scrap cardboard, printed pattern
Optional and very nice to have: X-acto knife

Step 1: Print out all 4 pages of the pdf and cut them out.  I did the already colored one here...if you do the black and white version, let your kids color it in before cutting it out.  On the front and back pieces, fold the side flaps back, as they will wrap around the corners of the house.  It also makes the whole thing bend easier if you fold along the dotted lines once to make a crease before sticking it to the box.
Step 2: Apply glue to the back of the pieces.
Step 3: Glue the front and back pieces on, making sure those white side flaps fold around the corners and stick to the sides.
Step 4: Glue the left and right sides on.
Step 5: Let the glue dry. (or the pages will easily tear when you do this step) Flatten the box, slip a piece of scrap cardboard inside to protect from cutting through to the other side...

...and cut out the windows and around the three sides of the door.  This is where an X-acto knife comes in handy.  Scissors are tougher to use here but they work too.

...and, you're done!  

This is a great little toy to take on-the-go, being that it has built in handles.  It also folds flat for storage, which is a big plus for us grown-ups.  Sammy calls it his "cheeseburger house!"

This also would make a great project to bring with on that road trip to the cabin or Grandma's house.  Just print out the pdf and bring it with you. The kids can color it in the car, and when you have to stop for a drive-through meal during the trip, keep your box for a fun project ready to assemble upon your arrival!

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