My kids are world travelers. They love to explore the rainforests of South America, ride around the Kalahari Desert, hike North America’s temperate forests, swim the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and wander through Tasmania – all in search of wild animals and new adventures. They wouldn’t have these experiences without Wild Kratts and other PBS programming.
As a family we also enjoy traveling to new places. We’ve been to Europe, Canada, and countless places within the U.S., so I thought I’d share this fun craft that can be saved as a sweet keepsake.
My daughter has fallen in love with making Geography Treasure Boxes. All she has to do is pick a place and collect small items that remind her of it. The place can be a country, a state, a city, where you were born, your favorite place to visit, or anywhere really. As we do the craft, I try to encourage both my kids to find it on a map or globe and use miniature maps in their box to help them remember the location of the place. Sometimes they pick the same location, and sometimes they don’t. Either way, I love the unique boxes they create and the imagination they use to make each one.
Things You’ll Need:
- papier-maché boxes
- paint brushes
- stickers, charms, small objects (including a miniature map or outline of the country/state)
- Mod Podge
- tweezers (optional)
- hot glue gun (optional)
First, give your box a good coat of white paint. This will help the colors to stand out. Once it dries, paint the your box whatever colors you choose. Don’t forget the inside sections! Start with the lid so that it can be drying while you paint the bottom piece.
Next, decorate the lid. You have several options here. You can either:
- paint your country/state/place on the lid,
- use stickers to decorate it,
- or decoupage images onto the lid.
We chose to use stickers on several box lids, and decoupage one.
Now it’s time to decorate the inside of your box. Lay your box on its side, like you are looking at a television. Place your stickers (3-D stickers work best!) in different parts of the box; some at the front, some in the back, and some in the middle. Older kids can glue heavy charms and small objects to the top, sides, or bottom using a hot glue gun and a pair of tweezers. Hold the items in place for a few seconds to give your glue time to dry and hold the pieces in place. Younger children will need help with this so they do not handle the hot glue gun, or you can simply use stickers only and avoid the hot glue altogether.
Don’t worry if another person picks the same place for more their box. Two people can create completely different boxes of the same place!
You’re done! You have made your first Geography Treasure Chest! Place this little keepsake in a special place where you can show it off to family and friends who come to visit.
Extend the Activity
See if you can create a Geography Treasure Box for all 50 states.
Use a larger box and assign it a theme such as a continent, region, or special group (i.e., South America, the Southwest, the 13 Colonies), then nest smaller boxes inside it.
Design notebooking pages for each Treasure Box to further explore the history and fast facts about the location.
More Adventures in Learning
Download a Free Episode
Whether you’re at home or on the road this summer, PBS KIDS can be your partner in on-the-go learning. With our award-winning mobile apps (including the PBS KIDS video player) and PBS KIDS video available for download you can ensure your kids will have a trusty educational travel companion all summer long. Stop by our PBS KIDS Raising Readers home at iTunes and download a free episode this week! This week’s free episode is Wild Kratts: Rainforest Stew (Vol. 6).