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How to Make a Roller Box

A roller box is a fun way for children to explore their imagination. Quite simply, it is a box used to show your own pictures- similar to a slide show. There are two parts to building a roller box. First, you will need to make the box itself. Second, you will need to make the story to go in the box.

First, you will need to choose a box to use. Choose a box with a lid. Determine what size you would like your illustrations to be, and cut out the display area on your box.

Next, you will need two sticks to use as rollers. These can be wooden dowels, paper towel tubes, or an old broom handle- anything between about one and two inches in diameter. Cut the sticks about 6 inches wider than the width of the box.

Now, cut two slots in each side of the box- one at the top and one at the bottom (see illustration below). Be sure that the slots are in the same position on each side of the box, and be sure to cut the slots slightly larger than the diameter of your sticks.


You first step here will be to choose the story you would like to put in your roller box. This can be a story written by your children, or it could be a favorite story they enjoy reading.

The next step is to divide up the story into sections that will be illustrated. The number of illustrations will need to be determined by the attention span of the illustrators as well as the audience. (Some children may become bored after drawing a few pages; others may enjoy spending a great deal of time creating them.) Help children understand what should be portrayed in each picture. Be sure that you cut your paper into the appropriate size for fill the display area of your roller box.

After the illustrations are complete, place them in order. Tape page two to the bottom of page one. Tape page three to the bottom of page two. And so forth.

Now, attach the first page of your story to the top roller and the last page to the bottom roller. Next roll the story onto the bottom roller; when you do this, be sure that you roll it fairly tight (otherwise, when you are reading or telling your story for your audience, you will have a lot more twisting to do). Slide the sticks into the slots (see illustration below).

Your roller box is now ready to show. As you read each page, turn the top roller to display the appropriate illustration.

Have fun!

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