All Thing Kids bloggers are teaming up this month to bring you an exciting series on Showing Kids Love. We’re each focusing on one of the 5 Love Languages – Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and ours – Words of Affirmation. All Done Monkey shares a wonderful introduction post for our series this month, Showing Kids Love.
Words of affirmations are a language of love. These positive loving affirmations serve as visual reminders to help children (adults too) focus on a particular purpose. Giving children these powerful tools helps them build self-confidence, inner strength, and positive attitudes. As their language develops, they’ll learn to use these affirmations in everyday life. To explore our love language, we’re making an affirmation box. It makes a creative, fun valentine box too.
This is no ordinary box, it’s an alligator box! Meet Cap, the Alligator Affirmation Box. Inside his recycled scaly exterior holds loving and empowering words. Each morning, we’ll venture deep into the swampy jungles and pull a joyful and positive thought for the day out of Cap’s mouth. After reading it, we’ll drop it back into Cap’s belly.
- Tissue Box
- Take-Out Box or Tall Tissue Box
- 2 x Paper Egg Carton
- 2 x Paper Towel Tubes (or 4 x toilet tubes)
- Green Acrylic Paint
- Sponge Brushes
- Hot Glue
- White Glue
- Google Eyes
- Felt (white, green, & red)
Although it looks like a long materials list, it’s mostly recycled and basic craft supplies you probably already have scattered around the house.
Alligator Affirmation Box Instructions
First, let’s construct all the pieces of the alligator, then we will assemble him. I went through and painted everything first with grass-green acrylic paint – (2) paper towel tubes, (1) long tissue box, (1) take-out container (dollar store), and (2) egg cartons, one for the tail and one for the back. You can paint first, or as you go. This is a fun project for the kids. We love recycled crafts!
Constructing the Tail
Once your egg carton dries, cut it into pieces and adhere them with hot glue – parent part. When handling hot glue, use extreme caution! As your gluing the tail, bend the pieces so they don’t fit inside so perfectly. I wanted to create a realistic ‘bent’ effect.
Constructing the Legs
Cut (2) paper towel rolls in half, or use (4) toilet paper tubes for the legs. While the paint was drying, I cut-out all the felt pieces.
For the feet, trace the paper towel tube for sizing, adding the toes. I cut mini-triangles in a lighter shade of green for contrast. We used red felt for the tongue, white for the teeth, and googly eyes.
Attach with hot glue or tacky glue. There’s your fiercely sharp Alligator feet! Easy-to-make craft, right?
Constructing the Scales and Body
Depending on your type of egg carton, you’ll need to cut the longer pieces off so the ‘scales’ balance on top pf the tissue box. We used these scraps to make the eyes. Recycled crafts for kids are a great way to explore art on a budget!
- Using a long narrow painted tissue box, place the egg carton on top and cut off any excess hangover. If needed, cut a small slit in the center of the egg carton box, so the affirmation cards can easily slip through.
- Glue the egg carton to the top of the tissue box.
- At one end of the tissue box, open it up (much easier this way,) and cut-out your square. Re-glue the top shut. This area serves as ‘storage’ for your affirmations.
- Add the legs. We cut our tubes down to size.
- Attach the tail with hot glue and double-check its secure in all areas.
Constructing the Head and Face
- Using a take-out box, cut the lid flaps off. We purchased a 3-pack at the dollar store. You could also substitute a tall tissue box.
- Line up your take-out box face to the body of the alligator. Cut a hole, leaving a 1/2″ of box around the edge. This gives the face an area to stick to the body.
- Paint the inside of the mouth.
- After it dries, glue the tongue and teeth.
- Add your eye backing, then google eyes.
- CHOMP! CHOMP!
Now that your chompin’ alligator complete, let’s make the most important part – the affirmations! I used a 1″ circle punch to make the alligator affirmation food and a scallop punch to make the bite mark. Using affirmations in everyday life really helps children build self-confidence and a positive attitude toward self and others. We thought a chompin’ alligator would make it more fun!
Encouraging Words of Affirmation for Children
- I am good at _________.
- I am powerful.
- I am smart.
- I am a good reader.
- I am very creative.
- I am a good influence on others.
- I am always trying to do my best.
- I can do anything I set my mind to.
- I believe in me.
- I deserve good things.
- I am brave.
- I did a great job!
- I am beautiful.
- I am happy.
- I am loved.
- I am calm and relaxed.
- I am at happy you’re in my life.
- I love myself.
- I am truthful.
- I am thankful.
- I am blessed.
- I am safe.
- I am helpful.
- I am a good friend.
- I listen to others.
- I am patient.
- I am a good friend.
- I respect others.
After writing the affirmations down and speaking them out loud, C immediately began dropping them inside Cap the alligator! IN THEY GO! I’m not sure he completely understands the concept, but used daily, he’ll learn and benefit from the positive words of encouragement.
OUT THEY COME! Each morning we’ll pull an alligator affirmation bite out of our box, read it out load, then put it back in. I’ll continue to add positive affirmations that reflect his present-day experiences. If he’s nervous about doing something for the first time, we’ll discuss “I’m brave!” If he’s learning a new skill, we’ll discuss “I’m really smart” and “I’m a hard worker!”
Our recycled animal affirmation box is a fun way to store positive and encouraging thoughts for children. Who wouldn’t love to hear motivating and loving statements from those we love? What are your favorites?
Our DIY Fireman Air Tank is one of our favorite recycled pretend play projects.
More tactile fun for kids with our favorite sensory therapy tools and toys.
Looking for more recycled projects?
Be sure to stop by All Things Kids bloggers to see their showing love posts too: All Done Monkey – Physical Touch, Sugar Aunts – Random Acts of Service, Frogs Snails & Puppy Dog Tails – Quality Time, Mamas Like Me – Acts of Service, and House of Burke – Receiving Gifts.
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