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Ocean in a Box

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So being the resourceful (read: green, not cheap) mother that I am, I like to make my own version of cool toys for my girls to play with. I saw these really cool My Sandbox Kits (10”x 10”) and loved the ocean mermaid box, but they’re kind of small. So, I decided to be the artsy (read: clever, brilliant, and modest) mama that I am and make my own version at home with stuff we already had.

We found an empty under bed storage box in the garage and thought it would be a better size so both girls can play in it at the same time. Then we collected assorted mermaids, fish, sea shells (real and the mini macaroni kind), polly pockets, and plastic mini trees from the playroom menagerie to populate our “underwater” world. The only thing we had to buy at the store were two small bags of new/clean turquoise aquarium gravel (there was no way I was going to use sand in the house) and two fake plastic aquarium plants/coral from the fish section at WalMart. The girls (and I must admit myself as well) love playing in their new ocean habitat. You could even make your own coral and plants out of Fimo or modeling clay with your kids.

It is so popular with my daughters that I’m thinking about making them as gifts for the umpteen million birthday parties we’ll be attending in the coming school year. How cool would that gift be? Little do my daughters know that I’m plotting to surprise them this Christmas with a winter wonderland made out of another under bed box and dry rice “snow” to be populated by some penguins, polar bears, a dogsled, an igloo, and some eskimos! Think about the possibilities: construction trucks with brown fish tank gravel, mini horses with a stable and oatmeal ground cover, space men and aliens on Moon Sand. Who says homemade gifts aren’t fun?

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