Have you been hearing that most awful of noises lately? You know, the whines of ‘Mommm, I’m borrred…’ It’s truly ear-splitting, even when it’s quiet. After all, your kids have already watched every Disney movie you own, and unfortunately, you didn’t think ahead and stock a closet with activities for a months-long pandemic. Their play rooms, full of the newest and coolest toys, are suddenly unappealing, and you’re having visions of them as teenagers tearing everything out of their overstuffed closet and declaring dramatically they have nothing to wear. Same situation.
But here’s a hack: It’s common knowledge that when you have little ones, chances are they’ll like the box the toy came in better than the toy itself, so why not roll with that and turn your recycling pile into some awesome crafts and toys that will keep them entertained for hours, so you can get some work done (i.e. hide in the bathroom with a glass of wine and a bag of Twizzlers)?
If your recycling bin doesn’t exactly spark your creativity, and your kids are on your last nerve, don’t waste time googling “simple kids DIYs” that they’ll finish before you have time to sit down. We’ve rounded up truly awesome, straightforward DIYs using cardboard boxes for kids of all ages that will keep them busy for hours. From cardboard playhouses and castles for your little ones to more intricate cardboard lights and shadow puppet theaters for your older kids, we’ve got something for everyone.
Plus, you can feel good about recycling, and use this as a teaching moment for your kids to learn about upcycling, creativity and imagination. Because honestly, is there anything better than the childhood days when a box could be a spaceship, a camera, a sleepover spot, a clubhouse, or a theater?
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A version of this story was originally published in December 2019.