Anybody who knows children will recognise the extraordinary phenomenon of the child that tosses aside a new present so they can play with the wrapping paper and box! So, it’s no surprise that some of the best crafts for kids start with the humble cardboard box. Whatever the size of the box, it provides a springboard that makes something very ordinary into something extraordinary.
Role Play in a Box
Cardboard boxes can become almost anything a child can imagine. With patience, thought, sticking, cutting and decorating, children can use a variety of craft ideas to turn the box into the stuff of their dreams.
- A den to hide in is the most obvious choice if the child has the right sized box. Cut a large flap to make a ‘door’ and work with your child to mark out features like windows and roofs. Encourage kids to decorate their new den with stickers, drawings and any decorations they fancy.
- Children seem to have a natural love affair with all modes of transport. With simple craft ideas, they can easily be transformed into a car, plane, lorry, train or boat. Use paper plates for wheels and lots of bright parcel tape for things like windows or body trim.
- Cardboard boxes make superb shop counters, kitchen work tops, ovens and hobs. Again, use lots of paper plates, sticky tape and things like paper foil to mark out the main features.
The Wonderful Worlds of Cardboard Boxes
Crafts for kids using cardboard boxes open up whole new worlds. Using boxes of lots of different sizes, it’s easy to create a whole town. This is an excellent challenge to test a child’s sense of planning and design. Make a list together of all the buildings you might see in a town and discuss what you could add to the boxes to create the right effect. Some things to use are matchboxes, cardboard rolls, cotton reels and loll sticks. Kids love to paint the new buildings and once the base colour has been applied it’s just a case of sticking all the building features in place and adding lots of finishing touches.
A World in a Box
Cardboard boxes of all different sizes can be used to create miniature worlds. The term used for this craft is diorama, which describes a display case for a miniature scenario. Crafts for kids help conjure limitless possibilities. By laying the box on its side and removing any flaps, you can see how it forms a display case.
Kids have hours of fun decorating the inside of the diorama with stickers or drawings or even a collage that fits the theme of their display. Don’t forget to adorn the outside of the box so it fits in with the topic too. Some good ideas are under the sea, a jungle, outer space or a fairy village. You can create a 3D effect by suspending characters and objects like spaceships or fish from the ‘roof’ of the display. Also you can add the med characters to the floor area using play dough or propped up cut-outs. The diorama makes a fabulous showcase for their skills as well as a lovely item to use for role play.
Kids always hoard and collect little trinkets and treasures they find or things that are important to them. Keep all these odds and ends in one place by making a treasure trove from a cardboard box. Take one box and decorate with cut-outs, stickers, foam shapes or artwork. Sticky gems, feathers and ribbon are very effective. Use a free rein in crafts for kids, if they have created it independently they will be motivated to store their possessions in their new box and you will have a tidier house!
Cardboard boxes are blank canvasses that can be used in so many inventive ways. Crafts for kids find uses for cardboard boxes that adults miss. This is a great way to let your child’s thoughts and dreams turn into something creative and wonderful, from something you would normally throw away without a second thought!