Some days I wonder why I spend money on toys for my kids when they have just as much fun with a cardboard box! Truthfully, I just think that is the magic of childhood. During a time where online shopping is reaching it peak in popularity, we thought we could give you some ideas on what to do with all these cardboard boxes! It really just takes a little permanent marker and a cardboard box (okay, and a little imagination) to have endless hours of fun!
Mom tip; involve kids in the creation process. Let them decorate with markers, stickers, ANYTHING.. it will help keep them busy for longer and allow them to explore their creativity.
- Ice cream store
Playing grocery store or ice cream shop is a parent favourite because you get to use what is already in your kitchen to keep your little ones happy. Double win! If you’re playing grocery store, use bowls from your kitchen and pretend to scoop ice cream in each one! Playing grocery store? Use cans from your cupboard!
There are no limits to the size of a dollhouse when you can make it yourself (and its free!) All you will need for this DIY is small boxes or shoe boxes. Tape or glue them on top of one another with all open faces outward and add some scrap book paper to the back to act as wall paper! Your little ones will be thrilledand will love to think of what to make next to add to their brand new dollhouse.
Want to take it up a notch? Try building some doll furniture from cardboard!
This next DIY makes me picture lots of laughs in the living room! And while this may take up a lot of space, sometimes that is the sacrifice parents just have to make for a moment of alone time. This maze could be hours of fun for kids, pets or even to navigate a remote control car through! Cut the bottoms out of your cardboard boxes, tape them together and ta-da! You have a tunnel maze
Okay, your cardboard castle does not need to be this complex, but how cool, right?! Scroll for a more beginner version. A castle fort does not need to be very complex to be convincing. You really just need to cut the top in alternating pieces and then attach some string to a drawbridge to keep the dragons out!
This box race track couldn’t be an easier DIY! All you will need is cardboard and a permanent marker! Your kids can use their toy cars, blocks and boats to race around this track. Involve them in the colouring process to get them thinking about buildings and landmarks they see around your town like hospitals, lakes, etc.
Playing mom was my favourite thing to do when I was little. I would put my baby doll down for a nap and then get everything ready for her when she woke up. I would refill her bubba, iron her clothes with my toy iron, and even get ready to change her diaper. Something about pretending to be just like mom is always so fun! I would have loved this washing machine DIY as a little girl.
Are your children obsessed with putting on a performance for the family? A DIY light box is a creative way to put on a show! Your kids can make their own props from leftover cardboard scraps or they can use their existing toys! Try to get them to reenact one of their favourite books!
My best childhood memories are when my parents would make small things, like a regular family movie night, into big things like a drive-in movie theatre night! My siblings and I would spend all afternoon making our cars look just right, and my mom would prepare the ‘snack stand’ for us to pick up our snacks as we entered the movie theatre (that was really just our living) It was SO fun!! After the movie theatre fun was over, we’d use our cars to race around the living room.
Trust me, your kids will love this box car DIY!
Take the cardboard craft outside for the afternoon and play bean bag toss! This is a great game for when you have company over, or the whole family wants to get involved! It’s very simple too; 3 points if you get it in the top, 2 in the middle and 1 at the bottom. First team to 21 wins!
Tip: Don’t have a bean bag at home? Try filing a sock with rice and tying the end.
For the kids that love science experiments.. or chocolate! This one is the coolest idea to try on a hot summer day! You may not end up with a perfectly toasted marshmallow like you would over a fire, but you will have a oo-ey goo-ey chocolatey smore! What else could you ask for?
Now take those Amazon boxes from the garage and create an epic masterpiece with your kids! We want to see your creations too! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook @grtpretenders
Want to see our EPIC cardboard castle from 2013 New York Toy fair? Keep scrolling!