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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why I Hoard Cardboard

Hasn't this been a terribly long winter? The time spent indoors has been really rough on my son. He is a get out in the world kind of guy and with the bitterly cold temps and endless amounts of snow he has been cooped up for months now.

It seems like he has exhausted his options for play. The poor guy groans when I try to engage him in a play session of Dinosaur Train. He sees me with the play doh and he hides under the table.

In times like these there is only one option for Mom to turn to. 

CARDBOARD.

If you have young kids, you need to be greedy, to hoard and stockpile great pieces of cardboard. The possibilities are endless with cardboard at your disposal.

My husband often gets annoyed with me over my fondness for cardboard. It is recycling to him while it is an invitation to play for my 3 year old.

Today things were not going well. Roo was frustrated, he was obviously bored. He wanted to play on the elliptical, he wanted to jump off of furniture, he wanted to pester Harper. I looked at the clock, only 5 hours to go until my husband is home...

All of the sudden I remembered a great piece of cardboard I had put away for a day like this.

I gathered a bucket of crayons, the cardboard and the baby. I asked Roo to help me clean up his toy mess in the living room. As soon as he saw the cardboard and crayons he was eager to help.


I am not the worlds greatest artist. (You have been warned not to laugh.) But I started drawing what might pass for streets.

I added houses, trees and a Walmart (Roo is obsessed with WalMart).

 
As you can see he couldn't wait to grab a matchbox car and start playing!



He helped color. We are calling that grass in yards.


3 hours later, my son is still on the floor, still driving around on the neighborhood he made with his Mommy. He loves that I added "red lights".

We have a plan to flip the cardboard over and make another neighborhood next week to inspire his imagination.

How do you use cardboard to inspire creativity and imaginative play?


17 comments:

  1. I love this idea! What else do you do with cardboard? I have a girl (age 3) so we don't have many cars...(wait! we do have lego cars) but any additional cardboard ideas would be awesome! Long winter here as well.

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    1. Maria,
      I have so many ideas for you! Make a ticket booth, make a pretend city using boxes (paint them to look like buildings/houses) make a princess castle... the possibilities are endless!

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  2. Ha, I love this! I tend to save strange things too, because you just never know when they might come in handy for a fun art project! My husband just asked me this morning why I had saved all the styrofoam from a package we received. "For an art project, of course!" I replied!

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    1. Hey Katie,
      My husband busted me tonight with a huge box filled with that squiggly paper stuff. He said "Sara.... (in that way you know leads to a guilt trip) honey, what is this for? Why is it under our bed?" To which I replied "Oh, its gonna be the base of a sensory box..." I snatched it away and hid it somewhere else to keep it safe! haha!
      We must be soul sisters ;)

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  3. My favorite is large boxes, like refrigerator and dishwasher boxes. They make great forts, inside or outside, if the weather is nice.

    New Year's Resolutions: A Different Perspective

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  4. Brings back memories of drawing these on big pieces of sheet rock laid on the floor of Grandmother's garage. She was a child of the Great Depression, so our happiness must have mattered a lot for her to allow us to "waste" them! Thanks for the reminder to do this with mine again. A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by the recycling center to bring home a gigantic box for the children to play in in the driveway- it got them outdoors!

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  5. My kids have loved cardboard boxes for houses, forts, grocery stores (I would cut out windows and doors and add writing). Recently, one daughter cut up cardboard and made a house and garage, tree and more.....like a dollhouse - all out of cardboard..............and tape..........LOTS of MY tape (hmmm......just saying! :) She had fun and it was good for her creativity...........Thanks for posting this. Gentle Joy

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  6. love the pictures my kids love playing in boxes and coloring on them

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  7. I'm a cardboard hoarder too, I'm afraid! I can't bring myself to throw it away when I know that some random time in the future it will come in handy (like it did here!)

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    1. I made a play microwave the other day Emma, I am plotting to make a cardboard toddler bed next. Watch out cardboard boxes here I come!

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  8. I loved your Tip Me Tuesday link this week. {thanks girl!} Would you like Tip Junkie to feature your blog post to over 200,000 creative women? If you upload this blog post into your Tip Junkie craft room using at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL then I can easily feature it in my RSS feed, home page, and all my social networks instantly. {squealing with delight} ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}
    http://www.tipjunkie.com/post/how-to-add-a-craft-room-project-on-tip-junkie/

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  9. Cardboard is a wonderful tool for play and learning!
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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  10. I really should keep cardboard around for reasons like this! My kids LOVE it, too! Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

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  11. What a great 'rainy day' activity! I'm an obsessive cardboard hoarder too, and I don't even have kids! LOL, it's just so useful!

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  12. Terrific idea! Thanks for sharing on the Kids Co-Op, which I host on my site along with other bloggers. I'm pinning this one :-)

    Jennifer @ Generation iKid

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  13. We have a big stash of cardboard in the closet here, too! Thanks for linking up with Mom's Library, I'll be featuring you this week at Crystal's Tiny Treasures.

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    1. Crystal I am truly honored! Thank you so much!

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Thanks for leaving me a comment sweet stuff! I am always glad to hear from you!