Cartons are the most effective and cheapest tool to hone your children’s creativity.
This is especially useful if you’re trying to wean your children off the TV and the tablet.
Here’s sharing with you 5 fun kiddie activities with cartons, taken from the book 365 Activities for Toddlers by Di Hodges.
1. Magazine Picture Puzzles
Create simple jigsaw puzzles with your children using large magazine pictures.
- Large magazine pictures
- Thick pieces of cartons
- Look through magazines with your children and let them choose pictures.
- Cut out the pictures for them.
- Assist them to apply the glue on the back of the pictures.
- Stick the pictures onto the carton.
- When the glue is dry, cut the picture into puzzle shapes.
- Begin with four or five puzzle pieces. As they master their skill, cut the pictures into more pieces.
- Store and label the puzzles in resealable plastic bags.
A fun way to help teach your children right and left.
- Masking tape
- Have your child stand on a piece of carton.
- Draw around the left foot and cut the footprint out. Use this shape as a template and make at least 10 more.
- Do the same with the right foot.
- Give your children cutting practice by letting them help you cut out the shapes.
- Tape the feet onto the floor in a walking pattern around the house and have your children follow them. You can even make it a treasure hunt with a surprise at the end.
- Vary the difficulty by placing the footprints further apart or by having a hopping section.
3. Box Fun
A creative way to have lots of good cheap fun
- Carton boxes of all sizes
- Props, such as cardboard, cylinders, broom handles, sheets, rugs
- Masking tape
- Let your kids use their imaginations with the boxes, making tunnels, cubbies, towers and other creations.
- When they have lost interest, save the boxes to make box cars or enlist their help to tidy up their toys and store some away in boxes.
Dressing up is an important part of young children’s play. Provide a variety of dressing-up clothes for them to keep them happy for hours.
- Old magazines
- Variety of dressing-up clothes and props
- Have your children decorate a box of carton to hold the dressing-up things.
- Collect clothes and props to put in the box.
The dressing-up box may consist of necklaces, bangles, clip-on earrings, shorts, t-shirts, coats. trousers, ties, belts, dresses, skirts, lacy nighties, petticoats, pantyhose, stockings, tights, shoes, boots, handbags, purses, wallets, scarves, shawls, and plastic eyeglasses.
5. Kitchen Play
Let your toddlers play make-believe with your kitchen gadgets.
- Unbreakable bowls, spoons, ladles, baking trays, muffin tins, measuring spoons, plastic jugs and cups
- Playdough or water
- Food coloring
- Large plastic sheet or plastic tablecloth
- Carton box
- Felt pen
- Biscuit rack
- Add a few drops of food colouring to the water in a bowl. Let them measure, stir, pour and mix it.
- Spread the plastic sheet on the ground, give the children some play dough and the kitchen items. Let them cook.
- A carton box turned on its side makes a great pretend stove. Draw some hotplates on the top with a felt pen and put a plastic biscuit rack inside for the oven shelves.
So, ditch the tablet and let your children play and use their imaginations with these fun activities.
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Also read: Arts and crafts for kids: 25 ideas to keep your toddler busy!