Time travel to the past and the future with a cardboard box and a big imagination! Once you are finished crafting the Time Machine box, look for dress-up items around the house to help bring your time travel to life!


  • cardboard box
  • paper roll
  • paint, paintbrush and markers
  • scissors
  • construction paper or paint chip samples
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • box cutter (adults only)


    1. time machine-longCut a large opening for a door in your box using a box cutter.

    2. Label the Box "Time Machine" using paint or markers and begin decorating the box. Let your imagination guide you!

    3. Create a time travel dial out of construction paper. Cut it out and glue it to the box. Attach a paper roll to the inside of the door (using hot glue) so that the time traveler can close the door.

    4. Using construction paper or paint chip samples, create buttons for the time machine. Make one button that reads "PAST" and one that reads "FUTURE." Make number buttons, too, so you can punch in the date of travel and add imaginary years to your time dial.

    Once you have created all your time travel buttons, glue them onto the box! Set the desired time and hop inside. Shake the box and make sound effects. When you walk outside, pretend you are in a different era! Where/when will you travel?

Caroline Gravino Urdaneta, a PBS Parents resident crafter, is a designer of creative family projects, tinkering painter and mother of four children. She writes about project ideas for the whole family and how to encourage creativity in kids on the popular blog, Salsa Pie and shares videos on the PBS Parents YouTube Channel. Subscribe HERE.

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