It must be because it’s coming up to Halloween because my daughter has gone spook mad. Every morning around the breakfast table the first thing she says is, “tell me a spooooky story Mum.” So today I thought we would make recycled box monsters and come up with a story for our little creation.

I give you a list of things below we used but feel free to use anything that you have lying around the house. That is the beauty of making these recycled box monsters; anything goes.

If you really want to get in the mood you can read a good old fashion monster book and talk about what the monster looks like. We love the book Did You Hear a Monster? by Raymond McGrath or a classic is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Both great books to get in the mood for monster making.

Crafts for Kids: Recycled box monsters


Materials you will need
Old boxes like cereal, tissue or shoe boxes

Acrylic paint – we used left over Resene test pots

Egg carton


PVA glue, hot glue gun or washi tape

Pom Poms

White Paper to cut the teeth from

What to do
First cut a hole in the box for the mouth. Then paint the outside of your box in whatever colours you have lying about. Miss 3 chose to paint her box monster in Resene Solid Gold (which is unusual for it, as she usually paints everything in pink!). Remember if you’re using acrylic house paint, make sure the doors are open for plenty of ventilation, and wash the paint off hands as soon as you’re finished.

While you wait for the paint to dry on the box cut out some teeth. Then cut out the egg holders from the egg carton to use as eyes and paint them a different colour. Miss 3 chose to attach 3 eyes (as you do).

The paint should be dry enough by now to start sticking your teeth on the inside of the mouth with PVA glue. We used washi tape to attach the eyes, as that was easier for my daughter to use. But depending on your child’s age a glue gun would work even better. If you choose to use washi tape, then just paint over it once you have finished.

If you have any extra material like pom poms, or pipe cleaners, googly eyes, or bits of metallic paper, use them to decorate your recycled box monsters.


When you’ve finished making your monster it’s time to create a story. If you have older children this is a good activity to encourage writing. If you have an older child that’s a reluctant writer have them first tell you about their monster by asking questions like, ‘what’s its name?’, ‘what food does it like to eat?’, ‘where does it live?’ and ‘what’s it’s favourite thing to do?’. As they’re talking, jot down a few of the harder words that they can copy when it comes to them writing it themselves. Older kids can even help type up the story and display it.

For the younger kids this is a great activity to build their oral skills. Have them tell you all about their monsters and record what they say. This then becomes their story. It is a great way to encourage story telling and your kids will love having you read their own stories back to them.

Our kids are learning and developing

Cognitive – Children gain experience in thinking through problems, exploring solutions and making decisions on their own. Making recycled monsters gives your children the chance to work out how objects can be attached securely. Just stand back and let your kids work out how to attach more difficult items, and watch their confidence grow.

Communication – Story telling is a great way to build your child’s communication skills in a fun a supportive environment. This activity lends itself to your children building on their vocabulary and developing their imagination.

Physical skills – This activity is great to help children develop their fine motor skills. They are doing this when they are using a paint brush, cutting and sticking objects in place. Fine motor skills are important to practise because it helps small children perform everyday skills like cutting, threading beads, self care task like zipping and buttoning, doing puzzles and writing.


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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