|Cardboard Toddler House|
So on the days when it feels like every toy has been played with and boredom is rearing it's ugly head we try to get back to basics. We cook a meal together, dump a bucket of water in to the baby pool on the balcony and splash around or build a fort and read books in it.
All those common-place, yet somehow still novel things that don't cost anything can turn a day around. One of the most versatile and entertaining resources for these creativity based activities would otherwise be headed to recycling bin: cardboard. You don't really even have to get very creative. I didn't realize how inferior painting was to painting on CARDBOARD! I am so grateful to this brown seemingly-boring stuff for hours upon hours of fun.
The cardboard house in the picture above is one of the more elaborate projects we've done with cardboard -and that took under two hours to make. It was the box the ottoman from our couch came in and I cut out a window and a door, re-enforced the seams with packing tape, poked two holes and strung them with twine for a "doorknob" and painted on some detail. That house was played in daily until it was coming apart at the seams (which I usually just again slapped more tape on).
Leo's request for "tracks" for his cars and trains was met with drawing a road on a piece of cardboard. We added details like a playground, library, daddy's work, pond, forest, and friends' homes and Leo happily scoots his car from destination to destination. It was supposed to be a tide-me-over until we could find a good deal on some wooden tracks, but he enjoys it so much there may not be a need for an upgrade.
|Who needs expensive train tracks?|
The flat tracks were such a success that I thought I'd go all super-mom and make a ramp that he could roll his cars down. You'd think I got the kid a live pony. He calls it his "zoom track." If I set it up on the couch I can sit and nurse Zoe while still launching the cars for a race while he waits cheering for them at the bottom. Anything that allows me to nurse while Leo feels like I'm playing with him is a winner these days. This particular piece of cardboard had been many things prior to this incarnation (including a canvas, a garage for the cars and a bridge).
|Cheering the cars racing down the "zoom track"|