As a Craft for Children, Make a Quiz-In-A-Box

Encourage a young electrician's interests by building a Quiz-In-A-Box.

| January/February 1986

When winter weather clamps a damper on your youngsters' usual activities, it's time to put a little magic in their lives by helping them build a Quiz-In-A-Box. This simple contraption holds a surefire double-barreled appeal for school-agers: They get to make up their own test questions for a change... and they get to feel the excitement and satisfaction of tackling a basic electrical project.

You don't have to be an electrical whiz to direct them, either. Just follow the easy (and safe) instructions, and even if it's your first voltaic venture, you'll carry the day.

Gather the Tools

First, of course, you'll need to round up the necessary tools and materials. (If you have more than one budding electrician, you'll probably want to ferret out the makings for a Quiz-In-A-Box for each youngster; the cost per device should come to less than a dollar, and the children will enjoy trading boxes and trying each other's test questions.)

For each game, find a sturdy, lidded box that's at least an inch deep and no less than about 8 x 10 inches overall. Department-store gift boxes are ideal, but don't hesitate to improvise with whatever you have on hand; even an ordinary shoe box will do, with some minor alterations to the following instructions. You'll also need a sheet of plain letter-size paper, about 10 feet of light insulated bell wire, at least 18 brass paper fasteners, an A-battery, and a small 1.5- to 2.5-volt bulb (such as a standard flashlight bulb). Plus, to put it all together, you'll need scissors, duct tape, a jackknife, a cutting board, a pen, and long-nose pliers. Wire strippers will come in handy, too.

If the box is white or a solid color, you can leave it as is — but if it has print or a design on it that might be distracting, scrounge up a sheet of plain wrapping paper or a paper bag cut flat with which to cover the lid, and cellophane or masking tape to hold the covering in place.

Now you're ready to call the youngsters and get started.

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