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For a few minutes work, a thrift store belt, and some wait time while the paint or stain dries, you can help feed the imagination of a young one. Kids can become a scientist out collecting samples, a superhero complete with utility belt, or a space traveler exploring another world. The kids can take their lunch or collect "valuable" shiny stones, leaves or feathers.

MATERIALS

A thrift store belt (preferably leather)

A flattish plastic food container with lid. aka "can" (I used a French fried onion container in this example. Cocoa or chocolate drink mix containers work well also).

TOOLS and SUPPLIES

Sandpaper

Paint or stain

Dark marker

A pocket knife

THE PROCESS

Remove any paper or plastic sleeve that may be on the can. Use sandpaper, in a vertical motion, to lightly scratch the can so the plastic will take stain. Don't worry about the sandpaper step if you are going to use paint. Wipe on some dark stain, let is set for a few minutes, and then wipe it off. You can see the difference the stain makes in the pictures.

On what will be the side of the can to the inside, put two lines as shown in the picture. Put the lines near the top and to the sides of the can. These are where the slits will be cut for the belt to go through. Make sure the lines are about 1/4" longer than the belt is wide so it fits through the slits easily. Use the lines as guides to carefully cut slits.

Determine how long the belt must be, allowing for some variation if it gets shared. Cut the belt to length. If new holes are needed you can use a narrow blade on the pocketknife, an awl, or a nail. Just poke a series of holes about 1" apart for the tongue or prong. Slip the belt through the slits and your project is done. If you have several cans, add several to the same belt or make a few utility belts and send an entire expedition out to explore or with the task of collecting cool stuff. Slip a couple of cookies in a ziplock bag into the cans to get the explorers going.

<p>You look like a senior and guess this is for your grandchildren? Thumbs up for getting them out the door. Very hard nowadays when they just like to sit with their laptops and smartphones.</p>

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