An activity box contains the materials, instructions and tools to complete one or more activities. These activities can be centered around a badge, workshop, themed event or even a specific location. The first step to finding, using and creating activity boxes is to learn about them.
1. Explore a box.
Explore the contents of an activity box. Pay attention to the following:
- Does the activity box cover one activity only?
- Does the activity box cover more than one activity?
- Does the activity box follow a theme?
- Does the activity complete the steps of a badge program?
- Are there recommendations for what it will be used for, how it will be used and where?
- Are items within the box protected from elements like rain if to be used outdoors?
- Can items be washed?
- Do you need to provide photocopies of originals or are they provided?
- Is there a list of materials the user needs to provide?
NOTE: If an item in your box is too large for your container, add a note so the person borrowing it knows to grab the additional item(s).
An activity box may have a fixed set of criteria or standards if you’re creating one for a group or organization. For example you may need to use a certain type of container or certain items that need to be included. Explore activity boxes and note what the standards seem to be. If there are no standards, develop your own.
3. Storage inside and out.
Storing physical activity boxes can be an issue. In addition, items need to fit in the box or a note needs to be included so items that don’t fit aren’t missed. Activity boxes may not be boxes. Inclusions might be in a 3-ring binder or an envelope if the items are flat. Explore activity box storage and see what others are using. Are these storage solutions something you find something you would use? If not, explore possible storage solutions.
4. Lend a box.
Explore ways to lend out activity boxes. Are any of these included with the activity box to help in lending?
- Track who has it
- Content checklist to make sure everything is included / returned
- Responsibility list
- Materials list that user provides
You may think the box will come back as it goes out, but it may not. Discuss with someone who provides activity boxes the challenges of lending one out.
5. Recreate it.
Keep a list of what the kit contains, originals of printables and anything else needed to recreate the box in case it is returned incomplete. It also might be lost or destroyed.
6. Share contents.
You can share your activity box contents with others so they can create a replica of your box. This can be especially helpful if your organization has awards or insignia your activity box covers. You can also create a list of what others put in theirs so you can create one similar.
7. Do it digital.
You may be able to create a digital activity box by creating everything you need digitally. In this case, your “box” may be a CD, DVD, flash drive or even a ZIP file with everything included. Check out the Enrichment Project badge program “Activity Box Digital” for more information on doing it digital.
8. Test before use.
Before you do the activity with others, do it yourself. This will allow you to answer questions and determine if everything is correct before you present the box. Try someone else’s box and test it. What might you do to improve their box? What do you like about their box that you’d like to include in your own?
9. Your notes.
As you explore and play with the items, make notes for what you like and you don’t. Ask why the activity box is the way it is to clarify any issues you see. You’ll want these notes for when you build your own activity boxes.
10. Subscription boxes.
While these do cost money, subscription boxes are very popular. You can look at these sites and see what they include in their boxes to see how others build activity boxes. You can find subscription boxes for kids of all ages.
- Avery 2” round label printable, 12 up
- Badge checklist
Sites to Explore
Get the infographic here > larajla blog post
Get the PDFs of the badge program / supplements here > Full badge PDFs