Kids are Crazy. Seems like every time we move or purchase an appliance, the kids spend more time playing with the large cardboard boxes than they do the expensive toys we buy them every Christmas. Our most recent move was in the summer this year. It’s almost Christmas time and the kids are still playing with the boxes from the move. They throw a huge tantrum every time I threaten to throw them away. I have to admit, though, we had a great time together making some really fun projects with those boxes.
The Peek-a-boo box was their favorite. We took 2 large boxes and put them together to form a fort like structure with an opening to the front. Then in the sides of the box we cut three straight lines (just one line short of a square) to form a window that pushes out like an awning. The toddlers crawl in the box and then play peek-a-boo at the windows. They also use the box as a tent, a place to hide when they play hide and seek, and a dark place to play with their flashlights and glow in the dark stickers.
My kids also love any kind of construction or building blocks. Give them some Legos or Lincoln Logs and they will play for hours sometimes. One day, they thought it would be fun to get in my closet, dump out all my shoes from the shoeboxes and use them to build a life size castle. At first, I wanted to kill them because of the mess they made in my room. Then I realized how much more time I would have to do other things if building castles with my shoeboxes kept them busy.
So we took the shoeboxes and covered them with decorative contact paper to keep them in tact. They built a wall and drove through it with their mini battery operated 4 wheelers and played all kinds of creative games with them for weeks.
With a little creativity, you can find all sorts of things to make with cardboard boxes. Once, we made a stove and oven out of a box. We drew burners on the top and they pretended to cook their toys in their play pots. I gave them a cupcake tin and they made Lego cupcakes. I also had a friend whose son made a robot costume out of boxes and tin foil for Halloween. He had a hard time moving in the silly thing, but he looked adorable.
So, next time, think twice about throwing those boxes away when you move or make a large purchase. Your kids can have a lot of fun if you spend a few minutes showing them what they can do with them once you’ve unpacked. It will also give you a little more time to do what you want to do. While they are busy pretending to slay dragons and cook cupcakes, you can unpack the rest of the house.