It is a parenting truth almost universally acknowledged that kids prefer empty boxes to almost any toy. All those expensive and beautifully designed toys we so lovingly picked out for our children have all been tossed to the wayside in favor of a giant empty box that once held our new toilet. We are revamping our bathroom, and after installing the toilet Christmas came all over again for my kids. They have been playing with the large empty box for DAYS. This is nothing out of the ordinary at our house. Any time a package arrives, the Bear asks if he can have the box. Use their interest to your advantage and try these four easy ways to entertain kids with a cardboard box.
Decorate the box. Get out the markers, crayons, stickers, and stamps. Paint and color it inside and out. If your kids can’t be trusted with markers, sit them inside the box and let them color away. My almost two year old LOVES this and will come out covered in marker and happy as a clam. The Bear (age 3) even decorated an old diaper box as a present for a friend. That was a hilarious one to explain to the friend’s mom.
Play pretend. Turn the box in to a house. Get out flashlights and make it a cave. Throw a blanket over the top and create a pillow fort. Climb inside and make it a pirate ship.
Make it in to a ramp for toy cars and balls. We bent one side of our giant box and created a race car ramp. Then we slid airplanes, bouncy balls, and just about anything we could find down the ramp. Races were held and much fun was had.
Turn it in to a slide. It was only a matter of time before the kids tried out what their cars had been doing. They climbed over the side and started sliding down the box themselves. Hilarious. Never mind the fact that they have 2 perfectly good real slides already, the box was way better.
What’s your favorite free item to use to entertain kids? Find more of our play ideas here.
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