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Simple Play: Cardboard

I’ve had cardboard boxes on the brain ever since I included this amazing birthday party in one of my Weekend Look Books.  Luckily, so has everyone else!  Which means lots of good stuff for me to peruse and now share with you.

Today I’ve got a great roundup of cardboard box activities and even a few products to enhance the fun.  Yes, I know this is my 3rd consecutive round up post.  I think all the Easter projects as well as the subsequent Veggie Garden Sensory Box, Teacher Appreciation Kit, and Learning Language Resource Guide just took a little out of me.  Not to worry though, I’ll be back with more original DIYs very soon.

Let’s start with something very cool that’s been going on at one of my favorite kid activity sites, Tinker Lab.  Rachelle had the rather brilliant idea to celebrate her site’s 1 year birthday by hosting a cardboard box challenge.  She invited over 20 other bloggers to come up with a kid craft or activity involving at least one card board box and the results are oh-so-inspiring.  Here are a few of my favorites but be sure to head over to Tinker Lab and check out the full list.


A cardboard box marble run by the project ring leader, Rachelle at Tinker Lab.

Flower art boxes at The Artful Parent.

The little box carpenter at Teach Preschool.

If you’re looking at these amazing projects and cursing you parents for not bestowing you with the creative gene, don’t despair.  I know of a few products that can help anyone turn a simple box into a pretty cool toy.


First up are the various MakeDo kits.  Within each kit is a set of reusable connectors that allow you to use all sorts of recycled materials (card board boxes, toilet paper rolls, etc.) to build toys.  Obviously the potential for open-ended, creative play is huge and I like that you can buy sets for one, three, or even ten kids to play with at once.


Rolobox is a product similar to the Make Do kits.  Although the options with this product are more limited, I think kids will still love transforming simple boxes into actual moving vehicles.



Finally, if you’d like to start a little smaller, then be sure to check out the Rainbow City Exhibition over at lilla a.  The site’s creator regularly challenges children around the world to make something according to a specific theme.  When all the submission are in, she turns them into a very cool exhibition.  This particular exhibition is a city made up of shoe box houses and may be just the inspiration you’re looking for.


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