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How to Make a Lucky Dip Activity Box For Your Kids

Home > Canberra > Family | Fun for Children | How To | Rainy Day | School Holiday Activities
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun! Find me on instagram: @australianrecipesbythebay
Published March 20th 2020
Indoor fun for kids at home
If you are looking for a cheap and fun activity to entertain your kids on a rainy day, sick day or school holidays, then check out this idea that has been a great success in our family. All you need is some basic supplies and a few cheap products from the shops and you have yourself a fun new game! Just wrap up little projects for your child to select like a lucky dip, and watch them unwrap them like it's Christmas!

At the time of writing, the world is being affected by Coronavirus and many people are "self-isolating" with their children. This is obviously a tough time for everyone, as well as the reality that our kids are going to be climbing the curtains with boredom within days - so we need to get creative. Keep reading for how to make a Lucky Dip Activity Box for your kids – today!

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Wrap up books, paints, craft items, games - whatever your child loves!


1. Get a Large Box – whether that is the box that the microwave came in last month, or a plastic tub, it just needs to be a good size.

2. Gather your Wrapping Supplies – the stranger the better! Use whatever you can find - newspapers, catalogues, Christmas wrapping paper, foil, baking paper, kitchen paper, etc. Wrap up each activity in a variety of shapes and papers to make them look interesting.

3. Rules - Think about the "rules" you want for this activity and write them on top of the box. On our box, we said that they had to pick the lucky dip activity, turn on the kitchen timer for 30 minutes and do that activity for all that time - no complaining about being bored! They thought it was funny to be "timed" and usually went over time anyway. Will your kids choose just one lucky dip a day? Or more? Work out works best for your family and how long you want the game to go for.

4. Ideas - Think about what your child loves and come up with some ideas that suit them. If you can't leave the house and you only have the supplies in your home, then you may need to think outside the box, so to speak. Keep reading for ideas that may work for your kids, or come up with new ones....

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Wrap up all the components of a craft activity - such as creating and decorating headbands


Put together craft supplies for kids to make their own headband. For my daughter, I cut up a long piece of cardboard the size of her head plus a unicorn horn, a fake flower and stickers and wrapped them up together. For boys you could do whatever interests them – a sea creature, a dinosaur, a character they like etc.

Make your own Word Search – just draw up a grid on an A4 piece of paper and write in words that they know – their pets name, their favourite breakfast cereal etc.

Wrap up a potato and tube of paint and show your child how to make potato stamps.

Print off colouring-in masks of your child's favourite characters from their websites (eg. Bluey from ABC Kids and Paw Patrol from Nick Junior) and wrap them up with some elastic.

Create a Drawing Challenge - draw squiggles on paper for your kids to then turn into pictures. Roll them up in a tube to create a different shape to wrap.

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Print out masks of your child's favourite characters

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Draw squiggles and get your child to finish the picture!

Buy some bath pens or fizzers and they can have a bath - whatever the time of day!

Wrap up a box of cupcake mix and make them together.

Borrow books from the library and wrap them up.

Wrap up flower seeds and help them plant them in pots or in the garden. Kids will enjoy watering them every day to see how they grow.

Cut out cardboard in your child's head size and roll it up with foil and stickers to make a King or Queen crown.

Wrap up some toilet rolls, coloured paper, pipe cleaners, stickers and googly eyes and watch them create toilet roll craft.

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Kids can make their own crown with cardboard, foil, glue and stickers!

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Toilet roll craft- if you have any toilet paper, that is!

Wrap up a deck of cards and play Snap, Memory or Solitaire with them.

Visit your local op shop and buy a second-hand puzzle or game to wrap up.

Make up your own bubble mixture for them to blow outside.

Wrap up a bag of pasta and some elastic for your kids to thread pasta jewellery.

Buy cheap terracotta pots from Bunnings for your kids to paint as presents. Plant a succulent in each one.

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Paint pots for presents!

As we know, every child is different, so hopefully, this list gives you some ideas that you can adapt for the children in your family. Half the fun for kids is choosing the lucky dip and unwrapping it, and then they have a new activity to do on their own, or with you. It can be hard to get creative with cheap or free things around the home, but when you start looking, it is surprising what you can find! The op shop is also a great back-up for cheap items you can buy, that are often new.

If you have smaller children, they often are interested in the actual box, so you can have some fun at the end of the activity with turning it into a car, or pulling it apart to turn into a race track. Whatever you do, the kids will love every minute. Have fun!

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Get creative with the box itself...

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Why? Free or cheap ideas for when you need to stay at home!
When: All year around
Where: Home!
Cost: Free or cheap
Your Comment
A fantastic idea beacuse what kid doesn't like a surprise; it should generate excitement as well as something to do.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10580) 1171 days ago
So clever, Sue!
by Elaine (score: 3|9398) 1168 days ago
Brilliant! Thanks Sue!
by Belladonna (score: 2|638) 1169 days ago
Op shops are closed!
by robbo (score: 0|7) 1165 days ago
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