We make things out of boxes. Before they go into the recycle bin, my son and I most likely will make something out of the box. If it’s big and sturdy enough it may just be in our home for quite some time. Some are just experiments, some are still now a staple in his daily imaginative play. It all started with a box known affectionately by my son as “Wheels on the Bus”. It emerged from his interest in the buses and large vehicles he’d seen that day while we were driving…. And we happened to have a box waiting to be broken down for the recycle bin. Later that day we sang “The Wheels on the Bus”, read bus books, and made a cardboard box bus.
I looked up step-by-step directions on blogs and craft sites during nap time and quickly realized all we really needed was a picture or two to inspire us and send us in the right direction. With his passion and imagination (and my help cutting, taping, and making some of the initial drawings) a new hobby was born. Since then we’ve made multiple box creations. I know for a fact we’re not the only ones since I’ve sent empty, plain boxes home with friends after play dates so they can make their own imaginative creations (either “you’re welcome” or “I’m sorry”!) I won’t bore you with step-by-step you don’t really need, but instead here are some of our personal pictures to inspire you and get you on your way to your own simple recycled box creations!
From camping imaginative play that evolved into Firefighting.
I didn’t catch a picture, but before this box was a Dino Hunter’s Clubhouse it was our campsite – turned over with a door opening to walk in and out of. This is where our camping imaginative play started but the “site” sat there for a few days unused so we flipped it over and gave it new life as a clubhouse (this is one that’s still in my home and getting played with)!
Painting the Box Gator and reading about the difference between alligators and crocodiles…. Hint: Think “Crocodile Smile”!
A large box, shoebox, scissors, tape, markers and a love for Dinos created this T-Rex. He’s like a part of the family – it feels like he’s been hanging around my house since the Jurassic period… but my son loves him. He’s built so a small person can climb in, look through his eyes, and ROAR!
This one is clearly not a box, but it did come from a box! This crate protected the many pieces that came with our latest IKEA purchase (the box became the gator pictured above) and makes for an awesome dinosaur dig and volcano.
Keeping recyclable items out of the trash and getting them into the recycle bin is a priority for our household. It may be small, but it is something we can do daily to remain mindful about the impact our consumption has on our planet. I keep a stash of interesting shaped (and easy to clean, if it was a part of food packaging) for the days that a book, movie, conversation or experience has my son saying, “I want to build one!” My hope is this additional step of using recyclable items one more time BEFORE they go into the bin will open my son’s mind to the things he can do throughout his lifetime to protect his planet. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into some of our recyclable play!