It's Not a Box, It's Parenting Magic! Box Crafts 1-3
I don't know about you, but I have vivid memories of having a blast playing with empty cardboard boxes when I was a kid. Other than the usual riding in a box imagining it was a car, boat or train, I also made a Fourth of July Flinstones-style truck out of several boxes and paint that I "drove" at our town's Independence Day parade, and also turned a giant box from Sam's Club into "My Own Place," in which I had a little bed out of blankets, a cardboard table and curtains that my mom made for me.
I'm very happy to see my own toddler now automatically turning to empty cardboard boxes to act out his own imagination games. He got even more into cardboard box play when we got a great picture book from some friends called "Not a Box." I wrote about it in my picture book gift guide! http://www.vingle.net/posts/621669
Playing imaginative games and crafting with cardboard boxes is parenting magic - it's entertaining, encourages creativity, can be done indoors and is cheap!
Here are 3 very fun things I found out there online for you and your kids to do with boxes:
1. Cardboard Box Shape Sorter
From Parents.com: http://goo.gl/GjLJhI
Entertainment plus shape learning all in one!
- 18x18x18-inch box
- circle compass
- cutting mat
- X-Acto knife
- adhesive contact paper
- colored masking tape, hot-glue gun
(Although I think these could be whittled down to say, a box cutter, cube box and duct tape)
- While box is flat, draw desired shapes on all six sides using a compass and/or ruler and pencil.
- Slide cutting mat behind shapes and cut out using an X-Acto knife.
- Trace each cutout circle onto contact paper, then use a compass to draw a circle around it that is 1 inch larger in diameter.
- Cut out the ring and adhere it to the corresponding circle cutout on the cardboard box. Repeat for other circles.
- To outline squares, use strips of colored masking tape.
- Use hot-glue gun to seal the box shut on both ends.
- Give your child play balls and toys to put through the holes.
2. Dynamic Cardboard Aquarium
From MollyMoo: http://goo.gl/rtyWCB
I simplified her tutorial - since my goal is to do simple cardboard crafts without a lot of shopping or material-hunting. But you can go to the link to see her full tutorial for a fancier, more durable version.
- Thin, wide box (such as a TV box)
- Box cutter
- Rounded buttons
- String or thick thread
- Flat thumb tacks or hot glue gun
- Your choice for background cover: paint, newspaper, construction paper, tissue paper - it's up to you!
- Styrofoam balls or ovals
- Things to decorate the fish - paints, markers, googly eyes, glitter, tissue paper - it's up to you!
- Draw lines on the box where you want the opening and cut it out.
- Cut slits on the top of the box to act as sliding tracks, openings from which to hang the fish from buttons and string.
- With rounded buttons, the child can grip and move their fish up and down the tracks.
- Cut circles out of each side to act as viewing portholes and give some detail to the outside of the aquarium.
- Paint or glue colored strips of colored paper to the background and outside of the aquarium to create the scene.
- Paint the styrofoam for the fish, glue on googly eyes and decorate with your materials.
- Loop the thread or string through the buttons and drop the thread through the slits with the button resting on top.
- Attach the other end of the thread or string to the fish using a flat thumbtack or hot glue gun.
3. Tissue Box Dinosaur Feet
From A Bird and a Bean: http://goo.gl/41TMM8
- 2 empty tissue boxes
- Either Mod Podge and tissue paper, or paint
- Duct tape
- Glue or hot glue gun
- Use the duct tape to reduce the size of the opening a little bit and to reinforce the opening as well.
- If using paint, then have your child paint the box. Let dry.
- If using tissue paper, then cut pieces of colored tissue paper with your child, adhere to the tissue box by covering with Mod Podge and let dry.
- Cut triangles out of a sponge or cardboard.
- Glue or hot glue triangles to the box.
- Stomp around like a dinosaur!
Be on the lookout for more awesome cardboard box crafts that I'll be posting in the future! I'll be posting them in my collections, which you can follow here:
Indoor Fun with Toddlers: http://www.vingle.net/collections/1631792
Those Crafty Kids! http://www.vingle.net/collections/1520307