Another Christmas is over and all the presents have been unwrapped. Chances are, if you have a baby or small child that they will have shunned the bright shiny new toys and been more interested in the paper and boxes.
But – boxes are not just for Christmas. They could become part of your household for ..well if not quite life then certainly months to come!
Team Netmums (chatting in their ignorance of why Boxing day is called Boxing Day!*) were discussing just how many of our children have huge boxes in their rooms which they refuse to part with. However battered and tattered they become, however much we trip over them and curse about how much space they take up and however much we plead they won’t let us put them out in the recycling.
If you have ever had a delivery which came in a huge box you will have seen the instant glee on your children’s faces and their imaginations whirl as they plan how they can turn it into something amazing to play with.
Whilst browsing the internet for Christmas shopping this year we found several huge cardboard boxes for sale as toys – ready to assemble and decorated as castles, houses and shops. But surely it is much more fun (and cheaper!) to get out some felt pens, milk bottle tops and any other old bits and pieces you have lying about so the children can turn boxes into marvelous creations.
In the homes of Team Netmums boxes have become houses, castles, mini lands, beds for teddies, mini houses for mice, rockets and spaceships or even just great vehicles to zoom long the hallway in. Our children beg us to let them keep shoe boxes which can be used for collections, for making mini houses or for playing shoe shops. Many a rainy day has been filled with creating things from empty boxes and then playing in them. We found adding a bit of silver foil to a cycle helmet makes a great space helmet to go with a rocket and old keyboards make fab spaceship control pads if you want to go that extra mile, pipe cleaners with buttons or beads make great erm..dangly bits for levers, paper plates on butterfly clips make perfect steering wheels for a car, cut out sections make instant doors and windows, scraps of fabric make a shoe box into a great snuggly bed for a small toy…The possibilities are endless.
So – don’t chuck away the boxes this year and when the kids start whinging that they have nothing to play with (despite the pile of new toys they have just opened) – bring out the boxes and let their imaginations soar. Just don’t then throw them into the recycling to make some space without checking with the spaceship/castle/house owner first!
* In case you are wondering Boxing day is so called as it was traditionally the day Christmas boxes were given to the poor – boxes from churches filled with donated gifts or boxes filled with food and gifts given by households to their servants. So now you know!