Fun Uses for A Large Cardboard Box
By Joan Whetzel
It's Christmas or a kid's birthday, and the child has received the most wonderful present. The child unwraps the gift and removes the gift from its rather large box. The actual gift gets set aside, and the child spends the rest of the day playing with the box. It's enough to make a parent, friend or relative wonder why they spent so much money on such a big gift, when they could have just spent a couple of bucks on a box. So what are some ways to use a cardboard box?
With a really large box - the kind a refrigerator comes in - create a school bus. Draw on some windows, or cut them out with a safety razor. paint it yellow with black wheels. Or turn that box into a big red fire engine. Don't forget the garden hose and a few other cardboard or plastic fire fighting tools.
Somewhat smaller boxes - from washers, dryers, and other moderately large appliances, or large moving boxes - become train cars, use heavy duty string to tie the cars together. A little paint will make those boxes look like a real passenger train, or a freight train for the stuffed animals and toys.
Big appliance or moving boxes also make great playhouses. Use brown paint and a little black trim to make it look like wood slats to create a fort. Cutting a window on three sides only, allows the window to be folded open and closed again.
Turn that box into a castle with a few shades of gray paint, some slit windows, battlements, and a drawbridge door. Create a club house by painting it any color, cutting out windows and cutting out a door that folds open and closed.
Turn the box into a puppet theater. Cut out a window and string curtains to the inside that can be pulled to one side when it's time for the puppet show. Paint the outside any color. On the inside back wall, tape around three edges of a large, clear, plastic sheet (like a transparency sheet), leaving the top edge open. This pocket allows the kids to draw a different background for each of their puppet shows. All they have to do is insert the right background into the pocket.
What to Do When the Box Finally Gives Out
It always happens. At some point, after months of play, the box finally collapses. So what then? If there are no windows and doors, or if the windows and doors can be taped shut, then simply collapse the box. You now have a hill sled, which is great fair weather entertainment. At least until the box sled falls apart completely.
The only limit to the hours of entertainment that a single box can provide, is the time it takes for the box to fall apart. There is NO limit the amount of imagination and fun that box can provide.