Your long-awaited moving day has finally come and gone and now you are in your new place. Furniture has been arranged, knickknacks have been carefully placed on shelves, and your family is starting to feel at home. Now, what to do about those boxes – piles and piles of moving boxes that were once a valuable commodity in your packing experience are now just taking up space in the corner of your living room or the closet of a spare bedroom.
Unless you plan on saving those boxes for another move, you probably plan on bringing them to the dump. However, before you throw those boxes away, take a few minutes to see them for what they could be. Here are a few of our favorite ways to re-use moving boxes before they find their way to the nearest recycling facility.
- Build a city: Play “Architect” with your little ones to help build spatial and math skills all while fostering a vivid imagination. Whether they want to recreate an old Western film or take a trip to the City of Tomorrow, you’re sure to find hours of fun within these cardboard walls.
- Design a house: Focus on the details by creating a home for dolls or action figures. Use cardboard scraps as floor and room dividers, then use crayons or markers to draw in the furniture. If your child is feeling especially creative, then she may even want to build her own cardboard furniture to go inside.
- Put on a show: An old refrigerator or wardrobe box makes for the perfect puppet stage. Just use some scissors, glue, scrap fabric and, of course, a lot of creativity to make this puppet theater. You can even make your own puppets out of mismatched socks, googly eyes and yarn hair!
- Play a game: If you’ve got lots of boxes, then you’ve got hours worth of game-play right in front of you. Just hide some of your children’s things in the boxes, then give them clues until they find the right item. This super-sized version of memory is a fun way to teach math skills such as classifying and sorting.
- Make a bed: Kids are like cats: they see an empty box and they have to try it on for size (and maybe even take a nap in it). Your child will love relaxing in his or her own, homemade bed, equipped with every pillow and blanket in the house. And, don’t worry; if Junior is too big, I’m sure your cat – or any number of stuffed animals – will fit just fine.
- Create a costume: Think Halloween! We couldn’t leave out the idea of creating costumes out of boxes. With a little paint – and a lot if ingenuity – your little one can become a milk jug, a truck driver or a robot all for a fraction of the price of store-bought costumes.
- Let your kids decide: Your children are naturally creative. Arm them with a pair of scissors, a few colors and some tape then let them loose into a pile of boxes to watch their imaginations take flight.
Given all of the time you’ve likely spent packing and unpacking your moving boxes, it would be a shame to see them end up in a landfill or recycling facility without your family thoroughly enjoying them first. Use these ideas to help you get creative with your cardboard. When you’ve finished, you can either pass them on to the next gracious family or pack them away in your storage unit until the next rainy day because nothing is more powerful than a strong imagination.