Idle Hands are Indeed the Devil’s Playground

Many look forward to upcoming school holidays as times of relaxation and recuperation. I, on the other hand, dread them like a pending root canal. Kids with ASD and Down Syndrome love routine and when the routine of going to school is canceled, you’re going to pay. I awoke last night in a cool sweat just thinking about it!

Typically, I fail miserably in meeting the kids needs on these days. There is just not enough Barney, KidzBop Kids or Avengers to satisfy the savage souls I usually refer to as my children. Add Winter to the equation and there’s no going outside to run off the pent up energy!

Today though, I might be winning. Amy uses an online company called Boxed (boxed.com) for bulk item supplies. These supplies include paper products, cereal and school snack items. Thank goodness my brilliant wife put in an order last week and included the 45 snack pack of Goldfish. I’m not sure what Pepperidge Farms puts in these nuggets of gold but Irina will do anything for a mere five fish bribe. A one fish penalty is applied for each instance of non-compliance per directive given. Rarely does Irina need to pay more than a two fish deduction.

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So that’s one kid solved leaving me six others to entertain. Just as I start to wonder if I’ll make it to bedtime, Amy calls me to the kitchen for a little surprise. Here’s what she shows me:


The folks at Boxed are marketing geniuses – they’ve included this “Reveal Your Treasure” kit for kids to make a faux aquarium from the empty box. Fish stencils, markers, paint and even googly eyes are included with directions (they obviously don’t realize I’m a man and have no need for this last item!). This is something I know my guys are going to enjoy. Let me show you how we did it!

STEP ONE: Got Fish, You’ll Need an Aquarium

You need a suitable box to start this project and what better one for a faux aquarium then:



STEP TWO: Cut a Window and Side Portholes
STEP THREE: Make the “Fish Net”

I punched five small holes using a small Phillips head screwdriver across the top of the window. Blair strings decorative pipe cleaners to corresponding holes on the back wall.
Two lengthwise pipe cleaner are then woven through the widthwise ones.

Your Fish Net looks like this when you are done:

STEP FOUR: Put them Kids to work! (SlideShow)

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We backed the stencils with 3×5 index cards to give a firmer “fish”. The younger kids used markers and crayons instead of the supplied glitter paint (because this ain’t our first rodeo!)

STEP FIVE: “Fill” Your Aquarium

Ivan’s my big guy and more than responsible when it comes to painting with blue glitter. He coats the four sides and ocean bottom like a pro!

STEP SIX: Hook ’em and Hang ’em!

I staple the fish to the pipe cleaner, cut pipe cleaner to length and make a “hook” at the top. My guys then hang their catch from the fish net!

STEP SEVEN: Add a Bottom Dweller and Some Flora (Added Bonus Dad Joke If You “Click the Pic”)
STEP EIGHT: Enjoy the Catch of the Day!


A great little project to keep in mind as President’s Day and probably some snow days lie ahead. Have Fin Fun with your own little project!!!

Special Shout Out!!!

Special Thanks to Dana T. for her generous donation of Arts & Crafts supplies. We hit the jackpot on this one and couldn’t have gotten this done without you!!!