I spent two hours one night with a Stanley knife and a permanent black marker transforming our box into a play kitchen for the rainy weekend that was forecast. Let this be inspiration for you to create something with your children next time you find a pristine cardboard box, at least for a little while before it makes its way down to recycling.
1. Slice along one long edge of the box at the fold and turn inside out so that the brown ‘canvas’ faces out. Tape up. Reassemble the ends inside out to give stability.
2. Design your cuts. For the play kitchen I cut two openings for the oven and the door below the sink, cutting through for the opening, and lightly scoring the fold so it would bend. I also traced a metal mixing bowl for the sink and a Tupperware container for the soap and sponge, then cut a hole slightly smaller to fit them in.
3. Draw on the design: I used black marker to outline the doors and make the cooktop
4. Add accessories: The cooktop backsplash is a long piece of cardboard from another wayward box wrapped in aluminium foil and the faucet is another marker wrapped in duct tape, shoved in an “X” shaped hole and duct taped underneath for stability. I also used some fun pieces from Makedo (the light blue ‘knobs’ you see) and a Dollar Store pink timer attached with Blue Tack. The tea towel is laid longwise and held in place with bulldog clips to the crates.
5. Pick your height. For my 2 year old the right height was the box atop two black milk crates that I “found,” turned sideways. I bound the three pieces together with cable ties for stability.
6. Add the fun. I pulled out bits and pieces from her existing play food collection, a small pot and whisk from my kitchen, a couple plastic baskets for food storage underneath.
Voila. You have a fun activity for an afternoon – or depending on your child, weeks! Have fun with your boxes before you get rid of them and then have fun with your products!