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Fun with cardboard

Forget the expensive toys. Cardboard has so many possibilities

Fun with cardboard

From babies to school-aged kids, cardboard has lots of potential for play and learning. Here are suggestions from the Mama Smiles blog. They are arranged from simple to more complex, depending on how much parental involvement may be required. 

In most cases, kids will get as much out of making the objects as they will out of using them. They'll also exercise their imagination, and they'll see how easy it is to be resourceful, making something useful out of a recycled material.

Baby in a box. A baby who can sit up on her own will get joy from being placed in a cardboard box she can see out of.

Transport. Glue wings on a box, and you've got an airplane. Link a few boxes in a row for a train.

READ MORE: Read how one mom thinks outside the box about kids' art

Art canvas. Break down a box so it lies flat, and your child can draw or paint on it.

Floor play. On a flattened cardboard base, draw roads or lay them out with duct tape. Cut and fold pieces of cardboard to make tunnels for cars or toy animals.

Houses. Cut doors and windows in a box to make a house. If the box is big enough, kids can crawl inside. Otherwise, dolls or animals can live there. Kids can decorate the outside too.

Appliances. The blogger's kids loved the washer and dryer she made for them-more than once! 

Electronics. Scissors, tape, and a marker can turn slabs of cardboard into a laptop with a lid that folds down over the keyboard. 

Space transport. A space shuttle takes more effort than an airplane, but you can add battery-operated LED lights to make it celestial.

Car seat. Cut open a cylindrical salt or oatmeal box and use the curved insides as the back and bottom of a car seat for a doll.

Use your imagination. The possibilities are endless, and if you need more ideas, there are whole books on how to play with cardboard.

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