Toddler Fun Box

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About: I am a mom of 3, a grandmother of 3, and an accountant. My hobbies are gardening and woodworking.

This is a little box I made for my grandson, who is almost 2. If he can't figure stuff out, his two older brothers will be more than happy to help.

Step 1: Gather Gadgets

Some of these I had lying around, others I had to buy. Everything will be screwed down, and nothing is unsafe or a choking hazard.

Step 2: The 4 Sides

For the box, I used pine. First, I cut 4 identical pieces for each side. They were 6 3/4" each, perfectly square. I then used my table saw to cut rabbets on each side of 2 of the pieces. My goal is to glue the box together and clamp it real tight so I won't have to use screws.

After the rabbets, the measurements were 7 1/2" X 6 3/4"

Step 3: The Hole Side

I wanted one side to be all holes, so naturally I had to make those holes before screwing the box together. The biggest holes are 1 1/4" wide and I made those on my Delta drill press. The other holes I made with forstner bits. I will have corresponding dowels of these sizes for sticking in the holes. Toddlers love holes.

Step 4: The Magnet Side

The magnet side, like the hole side, had to have some work done before gluing the box together. I went to the drill press and drilled halfway through the pine but not all the way through in 2 spots, using a drill bit the same size as my magnets. Then I put some no-foam gorilla glue in the hole, dropped in the magnets, and clamped them down to dry.

I also added some stuffed puppy fur for texture on this side. Gruesome!

Step 5: The Bottom

The bottom is made of luan plywood I had lying around. I sanded the edges really, really well and stained it. It will be screwed in later. I'm trying to keep this toy as light as possible.

Step 6: The Top

The top is fancy. It has a flip top.

First, I took the 2 side pieces with the rabbets cut in them, and I measured 1 1/2 inches from the top and found the center line, and drilled a hole the same size as my wooden rod. I did that on each piece, then set them aside.

Next, I made a pine sandwich:

I measured the dimensions of the inside of the box (5 3/4" X 5 1/4")and cut 2 pieces of thin luan plywood in those dimensions. I laid the first one down on the workbench, found the center (the rod will lie across the longer, 5 3/4" side, and laid down the wooden rod, then cut 2 pieces of scrap pine and glued them down on each side of the rod. Then I glued the other piece of luan on top and clamped it till it dried. After it dried, I put 4 little screws in on each side.

After removing the clamps, it looked awful, so I trimmed it ever so slightly on every side and made sure it would spin when the rod was threaded through the box. Now is a good time to sand it really well. Nobody likes splinters.

Step 7: The Fun Part

Add gadgets wherever possible. I used a lot of trailer tie downs, steel rings, padlock and keys, nuts and washers, and paracords, anything I thought would be fun for a toddler. I'm pretty sure this will keep my grandson busy for at least a few days.

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