There’s just something with cardboard boxes that kids love as cats do. While it is a refuge for cats, a big box is a great way for techie kids to get creative and have endless imaginative play.
There are many things you can do with a box, but with minimal cutting, some designing, and the kids’ participation, you all can have fun while encouraging them to be creative. The idea came after we saw this photo of them in a pull cart, they remembered how fun it was being pulled on while looking at zoo animals. Here are some of the basic, less complicated ideas you can do.
Well, just let them be cats, let them into the box and see how they would climb out, or just stay there. Probably throw in some toys and see if they settle. Letting them into boxes is a good way to do casual exercise, they might jump in and out to see how high they can do it.
Pretend house play is always fun for kids, as they move around not so high ceiling like at home, just the perfect size for them.
Just cut out the shorter box lids into triangles, and tape the edges of the lids together to form the roof. Cut out some windows big enough for them to be able to look out into. Cut out a door big enough for your kid to enter into. You can completely make it open or put a hinge so it can be closed.
You can of course make it fancy by cutting extra boards from other boxes to fill up the gaps off the roof.
You can also paint or draw on the box to make it appear like a brick house. Ask the kids help to paint, or also let them choose the color if they fancy a different one.
If you got time, you can upgrade from a house to a fortress. This may need more than two boxes for the towers.
Use boxes that are not too high, cut off one side of each box lid included. Tape / join the opposite side’s lids together. Tape one side of the remaining lids together, leave the other side open, these will serve as the castle gates.
From the cut off boards earlier, make a tower. It doesn’t have to be round like the above photo, just make sure that it will be taller than the castle. Cut out little windows as you see above. Cut out some alternate squares on top of the open side of your joined boxes to resemble a battlement. Now, place your tower where appropriate.
Boat / Pirate Ship
Another project that doesn’t require a lot of cutting is making a boat or for a grander ambition, a pirate ship. If you are too lazy, you can just remove all the lids and put a maritime flag using a pole and old cloth.
But to make your boat fancy, remove one side of the box along with its lid.
Cut the lid under into a triangle (see photo) and cut a little bit off the two opposite lids to slightly make the front of your boat higher when they are joined/taped together. This will make for the boat’s bow.
You can insert planks where the kids can sit on and place a maritime flag on it too.
You can try to seal this boat and use it to set sail in the pond.
For the pirate ship, you would need a longer than usual box.
Kids love doodling and colors. Put some safe crayons, colored pens inside the box and let your child draw whatever it wants while inside. Let it be a graffiti box, a masterpiece of doodles and color combination. This allows them to color as much as they want, without you worrying about the wall.
You can also give them stickers, let them cover the inside of the box with stickers and see what they come up with.
Car / Train
If your boy/s like playing with cars, a cardboard box is the perfect toy for him to pretend driving. You just need to put a chair or small wooden stool he can sit on while inside the box and off he goes, doing some “vrooom vrooom” and “beep beep” the whole day.
To make it more interesting you can put wheels using paper plates, as well as steering wheels and some lights as you see in the photo.
Here’s a tutorial to making a cardboard box car for your kids.
For trains, make cars for each kid then attach them with strings, voila! They’d go “chug-chug” playing this time.
Endless Imagination Through Cardboard Box Activities With Kids
There’s so many things to make with cardboard boxes as far as kids are concerned. They may have a lot of ideas that only needs to be articulated so ask them, then make stuff together. Crafting and creativity with simple materials like cardboard boxes, tapes, glue guns, make them see the importance of recycling, upcycling and giving things new purposes.
This will develop in them an awareness to living and becoming “green” in the process. Working with cardboard boxes also makes them think out of the box, and have fun while in the box.