One of the gifts my youngest child will be getting this year is a cardboard castle. I love cardboard playhouses. Kids can color them as they will, they last pretty well, they fold up small if you need to store them, and they’re recyclable. It’s pretty neat. But you don’t have to stick just to the basics. Here are some great Christmas or birthday presents for kids made out of cardboard. The only possible problem is that they really need to stay indoors. Cardboard doesn’t do so well outdoors, especially in wet weather or lawn sprinklers.
1. The Classic – Cut Doors and Windows Into a Used Cardboard Box
This is the most basic and eco friendly way to go. Find a business that has cardboard boxes to get rid of, and ask for a big one to be put aside for you. They’ll usually do this for free, so it’s budget friendly too. If they have double thickness cardboard boxes, so much the better. Just make sure they save a big enough box for a playhouse.
Cut out doors and windows, leaving one edge attached and bend it back and forth so the kids can open and shut them.
We had one of these last a couple of years, including being taken apart for a move. The double thickness cardboard was strong enough that the kids could climb around on top.
2. Marble Run
This idea doesn’t take as big a box – matter of fact, it’s pretty flexible. Take a cardboard box and some paper towel tubes or toilet paper tubes. Cut the tubes in half and attach them to the box to make a marble run. You can go simple or get really creative with this.
3. Pirate Ship
If you want something a little more complex, try a Pirate Ship. The creative can make one of their own, but you can also buy them online and possibly locally. They’re really cute, just right for your little buccaneer.
4. Cardboard Blocks
I remember playing with these as a kid. They were great because you didn’t have to worry about hurting someone when they fell down. They last pretty well too. If your kids like to build a lot, you may need more than one set. They’re much bigger than other blocks, but you don’t get a lot of them in a single set. You can go for the simple brick style that I remember or the more varied Giant Archiquest Cardboard Blocks.
5. Space Shuttle
If your child is more into space, or you just prefer it, the cardboard Space Shuttle
looks wonderful to me. Just one more way to encourage kids to use their imaginations.
This one doesn’t come with the cardboard, instead the Makedo™ Find and Make Robot Kit gives parts to help kids make their own robot from things they find around the house. It’s a really interesting idea, sure to challenge kids.