Boxes for Creative Play

Growing YearsBoxes are wonderful ways to assist in creative play by springing your child’s imagination, which will enhance more complex play schemes.

Become An Animal: This simple box horse can be modified to become any animal your child might want to become.

Supplies: Large cardboard box, scissors, markers/temper paints, yarn, masking tape, wide cloth ribbon/strips of cloth/or suspenders, nuts and bolts.

- With an adult’s help, cut the bottom and top off of a cardboard box. Use one of these pieces to make a horse’s head by drawing the shape on the cardboard piece. Cut them out and paint them. Remember to paint the eyes, nose and mouth. Use the yarn to make a mane. Tape it to the head, allowing it to move from side to side.

- Paint the horse body. After the paint has dried, tape the head to the box body. Make a tail of yarn and painted cardboard shaped like a tail. Tape to the other end.

- Use or make suspenders to hold the horse costume around the child’s body. Hook the suspenders to each corner of the box. If using ribbon or cloth strips, cross one over the other and attach with nuts and bolts.

Build A Bug House: Become a famous bug collector in the backyard jungle.

Supplies: Oatmeal box container, markers/paints/brushes, utility knife, window/door screen

- Decorate the outside of the oatmeal container.

- Paint or draw the shutters. Use a craft knife (adults only) to cut them out.

- Paint the door and cut it out. Make sure its bottom edge is at least 1/4 inch above the floor.

- Roll the screening so it rests snugly around the inside of the container. Cut the top edge so that it fits beneath the lid. Leave 1 inch overlap where the side edges meet.

- Be sure to provide food and water to your house guests.

Make a car:

- Turn a medium-size box right side up and cut off the flaps. Using nuts and bolts, attach a round plastic lid inside the front of the box for a turning steering wheel. Cut an L shape for the side door. Put in a cushion to sit on. Paint the car complete with headlights, tail lights and bumper. Now drive to the most wonderful fantasy places, limited only by you and your child’s imagination. By modifying these instructions, you can build an airplane, taxi, fire truck, police car, ambulance, etc..

Make a race car:

- Turn a medium-size box right side up and cut off the flaps and the bottom. Attach a set of suspenders (or make your own with strips of cloth and nuts/bolts). Paint race car preferred color complete with headlights, tail lights and bumper. Place the car over your child’s head to be worn like overalls. Race around the room making race car sounds. Don’t forget you pit stops for gas, wheels and maintenance. By modifying these instructions, you can build an airplane, taxi, fire truck, police car, ambulance, etc..

Build a train:

- Turn a medium-size box right side up and cut off the flaps. Using nuts and bolts, attach a round plastic lid inside the front of the box for a turning steering wheel. Cut an L shape for the side door. Put in a cushion to sit on. Draw black lines on paper plates for wheels. Paint the train and attach the wheels with nuts/bolts. Paint on lights. Attach a paper towel tube to the front using nuts/bolts for a smoke stack.

- Build two more cars in the same fashion but without smoke stack, steering wheel and lights (remember to paint one red for the caboose). Cut a small hole in one end of the caboose and engine, and both ends of the middle car. Thread some strong yarn or clothesline through the holes and tie a knot to secure it. Put critters and toys in the cars to ride the train. Say “all aboard” and chug on down the tracks. Don’t leave your imagination at the train station. (The caboose also serves as wagon to pull around favorite critters.

Animals: This simple box horse can be modified to become any animal your child might want to become.

- Supplies: Large cardboard box, scissors, markers/temper paints, yarn, masking tape, wide cloth ribbon/strips of cloth/or suspenders. nuts and bolts.

- With an adult’s help, cut the bottom and top off of a cardboard box. Use one of these pieces to make a horse’s head by drawing the shape on the cardboard piece. Cut them out and paint them. Remember to paint the eyes, nose and mouth. Use the yarn to make a mane. Tape it to the head, allowing it to move from side to side.

- Paint the horse body. After the paint has dried, tape the head to the box body. Make a tail of yarn and painted cardboard shaped like a tail. Tape to the other end.

- Use or make suspenders to hold the horse costume around the child’s body. Hook the suspenders to each corner of the box. If using ribbon or cloth strips, cross one over the other and attach with nuts and bolts.

Jefferson Farmers Co-op 08112014