Cardboard Boxes as Kid Activities -- Keeping Them Busy!
Boxes--They might have contained furniture or large appliances before, but now they contain imagination!
I know that when I was a kid, it was a great delight when my folks came home with a large appliance or something else that required a large box. My folks might have enjoyed whatever came in the box, but my sister and I would put the box through a workout. That box would become a spaceship or a submarine or an airplane ... or a playhouse, a fort, or a castle.
So, if it's a miserable rainy or bad-weather day or your kids are stuck at home with the sniffles, how do you keep the boredom from getting to them (and to keep them from causing you to lose your mind)? Maybe a good selection of boxes will give them something to exercise their creativity and craftsmanship.
Chances are good that you could go out into your garage and find a cardboard box or two (or three). But if that's not an option, you can always run over to the UPS Store or a Public Storage place and pick up some nice large boxes and moving boxes.
Maybe pick up a few markers (the wash-off water-color versions are great for the younger kiddos), some packing tape (masking tape or duct tape also works), and bring those boxes home and you can get started.
Use a little imagination (even better, let the kids use their own imagination--to get it started, read them a story --or let them read on their own--about spaceships, submarines, trains, ships, trucks, forts, and castles), and supervise with the assembly and cutting (for the younger kids, you'll have to cut the "portholes", "doors", "windows", "peepholes" and other openings and constructions yourself).
The sky is the limit with how far you can go with the project.
Those long boring days stuck in a house during bad weather can be much better with a collection of cardboard boxes!
Flat, Pristine, Cardboard....Full of Possibilities for Wild Imaginations!
Empty box on a drive-way, ready for new adventures!
What a cardboard box can become...
Sheets of flat cardboard can be used as "building sheets" and cardboard tubes can be used for supports. Sides of large cardboard boxes can be cut off to be used for the large "building sheets". But the cardboard boxes themselves can be used for play structures. For little kids, an unaltered box is sufficient to keep them busy for hours.
When I see an empty box -- especially the big ones -- I think of all the possibilities. A spaceship? A submarine? A party house? A limousine? A bus? An airplane? -- So many possibilities. And what's cool is that lately I've been seeing empty boxes everywhere! (And it's particularly cool that I have a small pickup truck--perfect way to haul excess cardboard!).
When I was in Colorado visiting my sister and her family, she and I were heading back from the store when we spied an empty air-conditioner box on a driveway. We asked if we could have the box--and the folks at the home said, "Of course." It was lucky that my sister was driving a station wagon--we folded the seats down and managed to get the box into the car--the box could be a fun playhouse for our 5-year old granddaughter and the neighbor kids!
Some boxes ready for new purposes! Just give the kids a chance .... and get out of the way!
All About Boxes!
Although you can probably come up with a bunch of spur-of-the-moment ideas for what you want to make out of your box, the references and products below can help you with ideas on how to perfect the effect and to keep those idea juices flowing.
Get a few or all now so you can have 'em ready when you need to make a new creation!
The Flat Panels of Cardboard Boxes Provide Plenty of Room for Artwork!
Sometimes the Flat Boxes Don't Want to Stay Upright - This One Is Supported by a PVC Pipe Frame!
Small Cardboard "White House", with Painted Garden and Landscaping
Small Cardboard "White House", Another View
Cardboard Sailboat... Complete with Anchor (Cardboard, of Course) and Sail!
Cardboard Castle Tower in Process of Being Set Up
Cardboard Castle, with Visitors Checking Out the Drawbridge Entrance
Cardboard Log Cabin, View One
Interior Shot of Cardboard Log Cabin
Close-up of Cardboard Log Cabin's Walls
Cardboard Camouflaged Limo or Hummer or Some Other Form of Transportation
Cardboard Army Tank, Complete with Cardboard Turret
Giving the collection of cardboard boxes the 'lab-test'. Hmmmm. What to create out of this?
Popping out like a 'jack-in-the-box'? Cardboard box ideas are starting to come around.
Cardboard House with Roof Tiles Made of Painted Cardboard Egg Flats
Using a fluorescent light to create a 'reading nook' from a cardboard box.
Cardboard box 'mini-tunnel'? Maybe we could make a maze like in the hamster cage?
Turning a cardboard box in the living room into a 'formula-one race car'.
Checking out the windows and decorations of an outside yard tiki hut.
Getting a view from one of the rooms of a cardboard 'tiki hut'.
Enjoying a cool tropical drink -- pineapple and mango juice -- on the 'front porch' of a cardboard tiki-hut.
And Yes, You Can Make *Costumes* (Halloween or Otherwise) With Cardboard Boxes! - Cardboard panels and boxes provide handy rigid material for costumes of all so
It takes a bit of planning and "design" (working with small boxes to figure out how to cut things to make the costume look right... but once you've got the plan down, you can create a great costume! Robots, Shrimp or Lobster, Medieval Knight Suit of Armor, Computer, Airplane, Sailboat, ... these all make for interesting costumes... ideas, anyone?
You can also create your own cardboard cutout stand-up posters from cardboard panels if you have the patience. Just get a photo or image you'd like to have large, print it on a large-format printer (like that used for banners), or just print the image out in sections that fit your printer and then assemble them into the completed large-sized image. Then paste these assembled sections over the cardboard "standup" cutout.
Cardboard Shark "Costume" Worn by Costume Party Goer...
Well, the Shrimp Costume is Made of Cardboard. There Was More of it Until it Rained...
Okay, you've got a cardboard box (or a bunch of them!) - So what would you like to create with them?
Ah, where to start? Gather up the duck-tape, the markers, the paints, the things you'll use to cut (SAFELY please!) port-holes, windows, doors, and other necessary openings or "trimming". Ah wait... decide what you want to make first! Then, you can more wisely choose the types of accessory materials you'll be needing!
So, what would you like to make?
Copyright and Attribution Notice
NOTE: All photographic images in this website, with exception of those obviously in the Amazon, eBay, YouTube, and similar sections, were shot on my own camera by me and are thus mine. Likewise, the narrative is original and based on my experiences. Your mileage may vary.
© 2008 David Gardner