Friday, April 4, 2014

Boxes make the best toys

So apparently I've been doing this whole parenting thing wrong.. instead of spending money on toys I should treat Boo more like a cat and provide him with boxes. Lots of boxes...and tape... lots and lots of tape.

My parents saved a lot of the boxes I used for moving last summer. Boo has taken to creating vehicles out of the cardboard boxes. The ideas are 100% his, he will get help with cutting or architecture (some of his ideas are WAY to complex for cardboard!) but this is all child led. And it has been insanely awesome, and frustrating all at the same time.. but more on that later :) 

His first project involved a single box, he cut the sides off of it and used them to make rear view mirrors, a siren, pedals and an iPod holder inside the car. It got decorated with crayons and is the Jaguar 360 he took to the drive-in ;)
Boo doing cat imitations
His first creation was adorable. But he couldn't stop there. The next creation was a semi truck. Seriously.. cab and a trailer that can hook/unhook. He cut a bunch of flaps off boxes and taped them together for the trailer and taped two boxes on top of each other for the cab. It has a door so he can get in and out, a bowl for a steering wheel, a working windshield wiper, and screws to attach the trailer. During the decoration process it acquired a siren and became a police truck.
Finished, fully colored, semi police cab, there's
a computer inside for tracking bad guys
screws to attach trailer

Next, he decided he needed a race car. One where you could slide your feet in just like the Formula 1 cars.  This one he just HAD to use paint.. my Mom is such a good sport and let him paint on the table!
He also used a tea box and a paper towel roll to make a shifter inside each of the vehicles..
He worked on this the week of spring break while he stayed up at my parents for spring break. I got to help the first weekend and then see the completed fleet when I retrieved him.

As you can see this project has been full of awesome. It was also frustration laden when he had ideas that were beyond what cardboard could accomplish. He also got fixated and would tantrum if he could not work on them but have to do something else, like eat or sleep. There were several moments through this process that I wished I had never let him have the first box. But he really enjoyed it and each one got more and more detailed, especially the drawing he would do to complete the interiors. It was a great creative outlet. I wish I could help him manage the fits a bit better, but I think having to work through them over little things will help in the long run for the bigger things.

What about you guys, any creative usage of boxes in your house?  What's the best creative masterpiece using common items you or your kids have ever come up with?

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