If you happen to have kids, and cardboard boxes laying around, this article from our friends at Housekeeping, can give you some fun and creative ideas on how to take those old cardboard boxes and turn them into something fun. It’s a great way to get your kids to use their imagination and is something you can do as a whole family. Here is Housekeeping’s article on how to reuse those cardboard boxes…
Creative Ways to Recycle Cardboxes Boxes
After a move or the purchase of new appliances, it’s easy to drop your broken-down boxes into a recycling bin or even to take them to the nearest recycling center. When you have kids in the house, though, it’s definitely more fun to creatively re-purpose those boxes into something that will spark little imaginations and give them hours of enjoyment. These suggestions can help you turn an ordinary cardboard box into a free-play wonderland.
Make a Puppet Theater
Puppet shows are still a favorite with the smaller set, especially if they’re the stars and producers. Turning a large cardboard box into a miniature puppet theater not only allows your kids the chance to dream up their own shows and figure out their execution, but can also boost reading and writing skills as they create a script. Just be sure that you’re willing to sit through a few productions, as the little ones under your care will be anxious to show off their skills.
Build a Castle
If a playhouse is great, a play castle is even better! Using strong scissors, craft knives and decorative accents to create a castle for your little princes and princesses to rule over is sure to net hours of downtime as they explore their new fairytale universe. Just be sure that you keep kids clear of the area while you’re using such sharp objects to shape the cardboard, as curious fingers have trouble keeping themselves clear of shiny and forbidden tools.
Create an Automobile
Your little ones may not be allowed to drive an actual automobile until they’re sixteen, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t dreaming of the open road. Help them make those fantasies come to life by creating a simulated car, truck or other automobile from cardboard boxes. Extra points if you fashion a mini fire truck for a child with an affection for firefighters, or a police sedan for little law enforcement officers in the making.
Fashion a Home for Wayward Fashion Dolls
Kids’ fashion dolls may have an outfit for every occasion or occupation you can imagine, but their lodgings are generally restricted to commercially-available townhouses made of pink plastic. With a bit of effort and creativity, you can turn an old box into a palatial residence for previously-homeless fashion dolls. If you really want to get fancy, consider the installation of interesting wallpaper fashioned from patterned scrapbooking paper.
Create an Oversized Shape Sorter
Those small plastic toys with stylized holes and matching blocks help smaller kids learn shape recognition and spatial relationships, but the tiny pieces are easy to misplace in a cluttered room. While they won’t stand up to days of repeated play, it’s not difficult to fashion an oversized shape sorter out of a large box and smaller, three-dimensional cardboard shapes. These toys are great for kids’ parties and other gatherings!
Build a Pirate Ship for Small Buccaneers
There’s just something about pretending to be a pirate that sends most kids into paroxysms of joy. It’s not safe to send little ones out onto the high seas, but they can explore a life of old-fashioned piracy from the safety of their own home with a pirate ship made of cardboard boxes! You can get as elaborate as time allows, even adding ornate figureheads and painted sails to the mix if you’re so inclined.
Let Your Kids’ Imagination Run Wild
Anything you can come up with to create a plaything out of a cardboard box is sure to be bested by the vivid imagination of a child. Throw some drop-cloths on the floor and hand your little ones a palette of paints. If you want to help, just make yourself available to do any cutting or shaping that’s too advanced for small hands and watch to see what wonders they cook up in their remarkable little minds.
Use these suggestions as a jumping off point and as inspiration for future projects of your own creation. With a bit of creative thinking and determination, there’s very little that can’t be replicated on a smaller scale with enough cardboard and paint.