How many times your child found the box to be more interesting than the actual toy inside? Playing with cardboard boxes encourages creative open-ended play: the child can hide in them, cut them, draw on them, ride them as cars, sail them as boats…the imagination is the limit. So why not gift just the BOX? A plain, empty box! It sounds silly, isn’t it? Well, wait until you read about these two options.
One Giant Box by Yoxo. Price: $17.99
When he turned 8, Jeff Freeland Nelson received from his parents a cardboard box full with tape, string and wire – best birthday gift of his childhood. He even thought back then that someone should sell this…Someone does sell it now! An older version of that 8 years old boy. The idea behind this box and the entire Minnesota based toy company is that kids want to play with raw materials and parents should encourage them not only because these materials are non-toxic, unlike the plastic toys, but they also stimulate the kids’ creativity in a fantastic way, by challenging their imagination.
The boxes are designed with punch-outs that kids can easily push so that they don’t have to use knifes or scissors to create holes or triangles.
The Big Bilder Kit by Bildopolis. Price: $80.
The Bildopolis Big Bilder kit gives kids the freedom to build their own world without rules, in a simple, fun, ecologically friendly way that challenges them to think outside the (cardboard) box.
The Big Bilder kit includes 26 Bilding Boards (they have a core and outer paper on which kids can draw or use stickers) and 100 Bilding Dots in five vibrant colors to coonect the boards. A Bilding Manual is also included and you can browse the Bildopolis gallery for inspiration.
To have a compete “Playing with cardboard boxes” gift you’ll have to add this book:
“Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis. Price: $11.44
Another kid product inspired by a childhood memory (the author sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister), this book highlights the same simple message: a box is not really a box. It can be a fort, a tunnel, a rocket, a castle, etc….and playing with cardboard boxes can be magical!