Cardboard boxes are a hot commodity in our home -- even my 8-month-old appreciates a good drum fest with empty cereal boxes. Pretty much the perfect toy, boxes are free, plentiful (if you eat the way my boys do, that is) and provide the creative possibilities that can be a great exercise for a child's imagination.
My kids especially love making forts out of boxes, and it seems that for them, the smaller and cozier the better. While intended for my youngest, this easy-to-construct cardboard playhouse continues to entertain my older boys. And I made this house especially with small spaces in mind, because when the kids tire of it, the playhouse collapses down flat for easy storage.
Turn box on side so the opening is perpedicular to the floor.
Cut off the top entirely and save the piece. This will later form half of the roof.
Add a pop of color and some extra support to the bottom flaps, or the floor of the playhouse.
Retrieve the piece you saved for the roof of the cardboard playhouse. Cut off 1/4 or so to create the steepness of the roof. If you would like a steeper roof, you can cut off more.
From another cardboard box, cut out another roof piece that is the same size as the first.
Tape the two pieces you just cut together to form the roof.
Tape the roof and the cardboard playhouse together.
Place the playhouse facedown. Cut down the center of the back and bottom. Make sure it's the exact center so the cardboard box will fold down properly. Next, cut along the fold where the back and bottom meet.
With the cuts, the box will easily collapse flat. Make sure the back and bottom flaps fold outward. With the cardboard box flat, tape the edges of the cut flaps together. Then, open the playhouse back up and reinforce with tape along the side seams.
You should now be able to collapse your playhouse for storage.
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