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DIY Laptop

N has been extremely interested in crafts recently, and asks to “do craft” almost daily. He has all sorts of ideas, and it makes me smile to see him so pleased with the things he has created.

Just the other day, he discovered an empty toilet roll in our bathroom, gasped in delight, and ran off to the playroom. I was busy with the twins and didn’t ask him where he was going, or what he was doing, so I was pretty impressed when he emerged from the room with “a septopus, like Hank (from Finding Dory)”. He had cut up a piece of paper into strips, glued them onto the toilet roll, and drawn a face onto it, all by himself! He told me so proudly, “I got the idea from my own brain!” that I didn’t have the heart to tell him that his septopus had only five legs instead of the required seven.

With his “septopus”

Anyway, he asked to make a laptop so that he could “watch” his fav cartoons (he doesn’t usually get tv time on weekdays) after school the other day, and I figured that it should be easy enough to do, and got the materials ready for him while he napped. He was so excited to work on it when he woke up, and diligently drew pictures of each of his favourite shows: PJ Masks, Ruby & Max, Blaze, and Paw Patrol. I helped him to prepare the “laptop” by cutting the edges off the box, and covering it with plain paper, so that he could decorate it.

It was such a simple, yet fun craft, and he obviously loved it because he carried it everywhere he went after that, including to bed, and then to school the next morning. I thought I’d share it here, so if you’ve got empty cereal boxes lying around, you can get your kids to make their own laptops too. Pretend play is much better than the real thing!

Materials Needed – Empty cereal box – A4-sized paper – Stapler / Glue – Scissors – Hole puncher – String – Pencils / coloured pencils / markers / stickers

Instructions 1. Cut the empty cereal box (I used a different box but you get the idea) open, and cut away the smaller flaps. You should be able to open it like a book (or laptop).

2. Cover the box with A4-sized paper (I used two sheets). I folded in the sides and stapled them down. You can be extra neat and use glue, but I was going for a quick fix.

3. Cut a few sheets of A4-sized paper into half, and get your child to draw pictures on them. The more the merrier! Check that the sheets of paper will fit onto the top half of your “laptop” before letting your child draw, or you might have to face the wrath of an artist who refuses to let you trim his/her drawings to fit into the “screen”.

4. Line the drawings up on the inside of the box, and punch holes in the box and papers. Make sure you align them properly, which as you can see from the photo below, I didn’t, and therefore had to punch extra holes into the drawings.

5. Tie the drawings to the inside of the box. This is the “screen”. Make sure you use slightly longer string, so that the pictures can be flipped easily.

6. Draw the keyboard.

7. Decorate the cover of the “laptop”.

I had envisioned the laptop to be a lot prettier and colourful, but N refused to use stickers to decorate the cover, and didn’t want to colour his drawings, so I just let him be. After all, it’s his laptop, and he can design it any way he likes, right?

Final Product

Super pleased with his “laptop”

I used to hoard lots of cardboard boxes, plastic bottles and bottle caps, and various other items which I thought would be useful for craft, but threw them away when we relocated. Looks like I’m going to have to start collecting them again, since N is so keen on crafting these days, but I have a strong feeling that C’s not going to be very happy about my “craft stash”…

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