The Joys of Cardboard

Just a quick post today…I’ve been madly trying to get ready for our big trip out to California to see the grandparents. Hopefully I’ll have more to say once the grand events planned for the vacation occur.

Recently we’ve had fun with the ultimate frugal toy: cardboard. (OK, maybe rocks and sticks are more frugal, but we play with those every day!) We were taking our trash and recycling to the dumpsters the other day, when we stumbled on a goldmine: an enormous, empty cardboard box…probably about 4 feet square. It once contained a sand filter for the nearby stream-fed swimming pond. I immediately convinced Anthropapa to carry it home — how could we pass that up? So the box now resides under the eaves in the backyard, where it has already been a house, a workshop, and a garage for trucks.

Add to that the joy of what was inside the big box: long strips of corrugated cardboard, about 2 feet by 16 feet. One of those just had to come inside with us, where it has been through several incarnations of houses of various kinds. The kids can make a house of any shape, even with rooms if they curve it back on itself. And when they’re done, we just roll it up and put it in the corner.

Then I was inspired to create a dollhouse out of another small cardboard box that recently held birthday presents for Napoleona. I taped the box together, and SillyBilly helped me decorate it (added bonus for him: he got to use the normally verboten Sharpie pens!) with shingles, trees, flowers, and of course a door and windows.

Who knew such riches could be found in a dumpster?



Filed under General silliness, Parenting

3 responses to “The Joys of Cardboard

  1. Helen

    I loved making doll’s houses out of cardboard boxes when I was a kid. I’d divide off the rooms then “decorate” each room with pictures I’d cut out of magazines and catalogues. Ah, I’d love to do that right now! The ultimate stressbuster/cure for the remnants of flu! Your kids look like they’re having big fun!

    Actually, on the subject of raiding dumpsters, I noticed our neighbours had thrown out some huge cushions with quite decent covers. I was going to take them home and wash them but it was pouring and I had to rush. I hope they’ll be there later but I’ve got a feeling they won’t be.

  2. Kerryn

    I never walk past a dumpster without taking a quick look inside…

    When I was young my father would take us with him when he had to drop a load of rubbish at the “tip”. He’d do what he had to do and we’d scavenge. People threw out the most amazing things, some of which would come home with us. Can’t do that now, of course…

    I’ve watched my nieces and nephews play with cardboard boxes and I’m always amazed at the ways they find to transform the boxes into forts and houses and in one instance, a huge roller that travelled all the way around the backyard, propelled from the inside by one very determined little boy.

  3. (un)relaxeddad

    Card board is fabulous. Dudelet and I have made a pirate’s castle and a big tall box serves happily as both rocket and house depending on his mood (we cut a door in the bottom of it and one of the cats is currently sleeping in it purring like a motorbike.

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