Rainy Day Activity: Making Secret Special Boxes




Don’t worry, I’m not about to take on the craft bloggers, I am far from crafty or handy, but here’s an idea that worked well in this house a few weeks ago that I thought I’d share.

I’d love to take credit for the idea it, but it’s 100% Ciarán. Or somewhere that he stole the idea from, possibly the TV. It kept us busy for an entire rainy Saturday afternoon though so I thought I’d share it for the inevitable wet days that we will have to entertain the smallies.

The boys have a tendency to start what they calls “collections”. These can be of stones, pinecones, leaves, bottlecaps, twigs, anything really, there are little nappy bags full of them in my car, and my boot is full of sticks, you can’t walk in a wood without a stick in your hand.

The more likely I am to declare them rubbish and bin them, the more precious they are. Ciarán forages in the recycling bag before things get exiled to the green bin and scolds us for not reusing everything.

He had started a collection in a shoebox recently and Cathal’s interest was piqued. Ciarán christened his box of (mostly) rubbish his “Secret Special Box”. A week passed and Cathal came into the kitchen sobbing on this wet Saturday afternoon. Through the tears he was able to tell me  that the problem stemmed from the fact that he “didn’t have a secret special box”. Daddy was dispatched to locate an empty shoebox and Supermammy got to work. it helped that Laoise was napping.

Ciarán’s box at this stage was still a regular shoebox that he had written “Secret Special Box” on so he thought it could do with a makeover too.

I brought lots of odds and ends of wrapping paper to the kitchen table, a scissors and random stickers that were in the make and do box.

Pre being made special and secret


I let the the three year old  direct me which wrapping paper that he wanted on each part of the box, covering the lid too, and the insides, clashing did not come into it, it was all about what they wanted.  He helped with the sellotape and the folding. The five year old worked away on his own, getting me to help when he needed it.

When the boxes were wrapped and sellotaped I gave the boys a piece of white paper to stick on as a name sign, I wrote Cathal’s for him and Ciarán wrote his own and then I let them colour the signs and decorate the boxes with their stickers.

Cathal busy making and doing
Cathal’s secret special box
Ciaran’s “Secret Special Box”

And when they were all done, the boys filled their boxes with treasures, and insisted that I put them “up high” to keep the other one out of theirs! Every day there’s something handed to me with a request to get down their “Secret Special Box”, usually it’s a scrap of paper or something shiny like a sequin. Other times it’s money and I go looking for my purse to check whether I’ve been robbed. These “Secret Special” boxes contain all the boys’ most special treasures

Inside view of Cathal's secret special box
Inside view of Cathal’s secret special box

9 thoughts on “Rainy Day Activity: Making Secret Special Boxes

  1. What a wonderful idea! Our kids always had a stash of strange little things they chouldn’t bear to part with. I love that the secret special box honors those little treasures, but also offers a place to put them so Mama doesn’t have to look at them and trip over the constantly! -Amy at http://www.momgoeson.wordpress.com

  2. Such a cute idea 🙂 my girls are making crowns for them and their teddies out of empty loo rolls today 🙂 imagination knows no bounds 😉

  3. I absolutely live this idea, I really want to do the secret box with my little girl now 🙂

  4. I love this idea! I think kids really need a little ‘privacy’ in their lives – something that’s for their eyes only, even if it only looks like rubbish to us. They did a great job on the boxes, but the ‘tongue of concentration’ on Cathal is the best 😉

    1. The boys are all about their special things, and it’s definitely pure junk (and connect 4 counters) in the boxes, but they make them very happy so all is good.

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