15 Creative Ways To Reuse Cardboard Boxes When You Move House
But rather than recycling your boxes, why not keep them for creative projects for the kids? With a little imagination and creativity, they can transform the humble cardboard box into a fun thing for play for hours on end.
To get the ball rolling, here’s a few ideas for transforming cardboard boxes into brilliant toy and play accesories.
1. Cardboard piñata
Cardboard pinatas are wonderful for birthday parties and other special occasions. Make a horse or other animal out of your used cardboard boxes using sticky tape, and decorate it with paint, colourful fabrics, or textas. Before sealing it up, fill with small trinkets, toys and lollies.
2. Build a town or play mat with roads and houses
Tape a number of flattened cardboard boxes together to make a large play mat. Guide the kiddies and get them drawing a town with roads and blocks of buildings, houses, and shops, and then start building the town with more cardboard boxes, blocks, or toy pieces such as lego.
3. Trains and cars
Pass a fun-filled afternoon with the kids by turning your cardboard boxes into cars or train carriages that are linked together. Cut to shape before tracing out windows, and attach cardboard wheels and doors.
4. Story box
Choose a well-known story and create a story box by cutting away the top and one vertical side of a cardboard box. Create cardboard characters and paint landscapes on the box with the kids, and use it to help you tell them the story.
5. Skyscraper city
Build a fabulous skyscraper city by tracing out a city with roads and blocks of buildings on a cardboard base, which can be made from a single cardboard box or many taped together. Then get started on building your skyscraper buildings, using textas or paint to colour in the windows.
6. Post box
Turn a used cardboard box into a post box by cutting out a section for the letter opening and colouring in the box. Children will enjoy an afternoon of writing letters and posting them in their very own post box.
Create a castle with your used cardboard boxes by cutting to shape and adding features such as drawbridges, moats, and timber gate doors. Add patrolling soldiers and horses, and decorate the interiors with a variety of residents.
If you have a large number of boxes, why not create a room-sized maze that your kids can play in? Start by planning a maze on paper, and once you’ve got a design start taping together boxes as required. You can cut away sides to facilitate openings in the maze.
9. Shape-sorter toy set
Make your own shape-sorter toy set for younger kids by cutting cardboard into different shapes and painting them in colourful shades. Use fluted down pins to guide the shapes. Start with making squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles. You can also add more complex shapes such as animals and compound shapes.
10. Party decorations
Get the kids involved in transforming your used cardboard boxes into attractive party decorations. Create paper flowers, clovers, leaves, and other fun shapes, and paint them in your colours of choice. String them together with colourful ribbons, and you’ll have a go-to set of awesome party decorations.
If you’re feeling extra creative, turn your cardboard boxes into guitars for your kiddies. Trace out the guitar pieces, glue them together with a hot glue gun, and attach wooden dowels to create the bridges. Use extra-long rubber bands (check that the ones you’re using won’t snap or cause injury) for the strings, and have the kids paint the guitars.
12. Barn and animals
Turn your cardboard boxes into a large barn complete with animal figurines. Use a single colour for the barn (red is a great choice) and cut out strips of white paper for the door and windows. Populate with cows, geese, chicken, and other farm animals.
13. Pirate ship
Create a pirate ship with cardboard boxes by taping together cardboard sides and bases without the tops. Cut out portholes on the sides, and attach a pole and mast in the centre of the box. The kids will love decorating the ship; just remember to add a fearsome pirate flag!
14. Washer and dryer
Start training your kids to do their own laundry, and get them to make their very own washer and dryer. Cut and tape cardboard pieces to make the base and door or lid. Use old drink bottle lids for the dials, or simply draw them in with a texta. Your children will enjoy playing at doing laundry with real clothes or some old tea towels.
A shopfront provides the perfect setting for hours of play. Tape together cardboard pieces to create a solid shopfront that’s stable. Cut out a main serving window, along with two or more serving windows at the sides. You can add sloping shelving at the front for plastic toy fruit and vegetables, or decorate the stand with plastic cups or toy baked goods.