Now that strawberries have come to market, there are many ways in which the younger juniors can make useful articles and employ their time with the boxes.
For seed markers to use in their little gardens, no tools are needed but the fingers. Remove the rim of wood which binds the box into shape, that the little tacks may not injure the child. Then tear the sides and bottom into little slats, which can be used as markers. Older children can write upon them the names of seeds, and when planted, put one of these slats in the ground to indicate where the seeds may be expected to come up.
To make toy fences, employing the fingers only, split the boxes with the ringers into pieces wide or narrow, as desired, and the slats thus made can be turned into fences for the play farm in the sandbox, or for borders for small flower beds. Stick-them into the sand or earth side by side, to suggest a plain board fence; or put very narrow ones at short intervals apart to suggest a picket fence.
The child who is old enough to use scissors may cut the boxes apart with long scissors and use for fences as before; side by side for board fence, and cut into very narrow strips for a picket fence. Use the rim of the basket for the rail to unite the pickets, fasten ing them with the tiny tacks which are already in it. Pickets might be one inch apart. Cutting the tops of the pickets into points will complete the resemblance to a real fence. Put the rails about half an inch from top.
Boxes for tacks, seeds, etc.
For these scissors, paste, paste sticks, ribbon 8-1/2 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide, wallpaper and a pan of water are required.
Take two pieces of a box, each measuring two by five inches. Soak in water till soft. Place one directly across the middle of the other and bend the four projecting ends up perpendicularly into box form. Hold the sides in place by winding the ribbon around the four sides till they meet and paste the one overlapping end over the other. Then, cut a piece of wallpaper, which can often be got from a wall hanger’s shop, into a strip 1-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches and wind around. pasting one end over the other.
If the child is inexperienced, the paper may be of exactly the height of the box. If skillful in so doing, he may cut the strip half an inch wider and turn down over the top to give a little finish. This gives practice in neatness and skill.
To make picture frames, scissors, thumbtacks, gold paint, watercolors and glue are required.
Cut three slats, each 1×8 inches to make a triangular frame. Join, with thumbtacks, one at each of the three corners. To place them exactly the right way may take a little experimenting, which helps to develop the child’s sense of proportion and arrangement. When joined, cut off the projecting parts at the top to give a pointed effect, which is good for pictures of Indians, as wigwam is suggested. Decorate by gilding or painting with watercolors.