We created our Recycled Box City with a combination of cereal boxes, shipping boxes, shoe boxes, and cardboard tubes. I arranged glossy acrylic paints in a basket and invited the boys to choose a color. They suddenly became very focused and quiet as they used sponge brushes to paint their boxes with long, smooth strokes.
While they painted, I created colorful embellishments with hot glue and craft foam for their boxes. Several hours later, the boxes were dry and the boys were able to choose from a whimsical selection of doors, windows, trees, and plants that would turn their plain box into a bright city building. They had no problem sticking everything to their box with rolled masking tape, but I did reinforce it all with hot glue – just in case!
And then we played!
“Oh no! The parking garage guy says that it costs one billion dollars to park here. Too bad! I left my wallet at home. Be right back!”
“I go in my house. I go out of my house. I go up the elevator. It’s stuck! Call the police!”
“I am a flying car! Watch me gooooo!”
Imaginative play, the honest work of children, helps little ones make sense of the large world they live in. You might notice your child recreating scenes from their day, or imitating something that you said. Manipulating art materials strengthens fine motor and problem solving skills and builds creative thinking. But more than that, imaginative play is fun!
And to quote Dr. Suess, “Fun is good!”
What crafts have you created using recycled materials? Share with us in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook!