Packing and moving comes with several dilemmas, and if you have kids, perhaps the biggest is keeping them entertained long enough so you can actually get some packing done. But with only a bunch of moving supplies around and perhaps even their toys and bedrooms packed up, how can you keep them busy and out of trouble?
The answer is right in front of you – and probably stacked all around you: cardboard boxes. That’s right, you can turn those moving boxes into one of these 10 incredible creations that will keep your toddler busy all afternoon!
An Ice Cream Shop
Cut out some windows and draw on some curvy window treatments, colorful signage, and of course ice cream, and let them pretend to their heart’s content. You can even dig out some kitchen utensils to add to the magic. Cutout ice-cream cone shapes and let them take turns being the shop attendee and the customer, and they’ll be happy for hours.
A Pretend Kitchen
Simply tip a tall box on its side so the doors open out, and you have a fridge! Stack a smaller box next to it, draw 4 circles on the top, and you have a stove! Again, you can pull out some kitchen gear to help their culinary endeavors, or cut them out of cardboard.
Set your toddler in an empty box with crayons, markers, paint, stickers, etc. and let them create all around them – literally! If the box is big enough, you could tip it on it’s side like the fridge and even let them color on the ceiling above them.
A Racetrack Maze
First, take a cardboard box and cut it up into rectangles. Cut a half-circle at the bottom of most of them, so it creates a tunnel. Then, with another cardboard box open at the top, insert some of the slats at 90-degree angles to each other, and some right next to each other, so that it creates a maze. Give them their toy cars and let them go to town racing creating new paths through the maze.
A Traffic Light
A rectangular box can make a great stoplight if you have some construction paper or even some markers to create the different-colored lights. Then they can wear themselves out playing “red light, green light.”
If they’re old enough to know what pirates are, this will be a big hit. Cut out some holes for the windows on the sides, and use a longer paper towel roll to create a sail. Don’t forget the skull and crossbones! If they’re a little young to appreciate the excitement of a pirate ship, a regular boat will suffice.
A Long Train
If most of the boxes are full, let them line them up to create the boxes of a train, and give them an empty box for the driver’s seat so they can control it, of course.
An Entire City
Again, something that can be done if most of the boxes are packed is to let your children arrange them into a city. Bonus points if you let them design them into various buildings, such as the bank, a skyscraper with lots of windows, the jail, etc.
For younger ones, this is a big hit. Simply cut a hole in the top, and hide surprise items inside. If the items are hidden among packing peanuts it will be even more fun for them to dig around and try to guess what’s in there.
With one side open, make some small cuts in the top where you can dangle strings from. Tie a knot at the top of the strings, and then tie stuffed animals, toys, or anything else onto the other end. Then, put them in the box with the tied-end of the strings coming up through the small cuts, and you’ve just created a marionette puppet stage!