We love cardboard boxes. They have to be big though. We have no time for the little ones. They just take up space in the recycling bin.
It’s the large cardboard boxes that are beautiful. Every month or so, a delivery driver rings the doorbell with another big box in his arms. He leaves it in the hall. Then the fun begins.
After I’ve taken out the nappies, the box is Milin’s. The games follow a similar pattern each time. Milin helps me to cut through any remaining tape. I use scissors but he uses a spare set of keys because he’s seen his father do it this way. Then the box is usually positioned in the middle of the lounge.
It’s a hiding place. With the flaps closed – no-one knows were the little mister is. But when they open, out he jumps. Surprise! (He’s really good at jumping now, by the way.)
He sometimes puts a little cushion inside the box so he’s more comfy. He drives his toy cars in and takes books in with him too. It’s his “house”. Sometimes when we close the door he’s scared of the dark. So we open the flaps and he’s happy again and we’re let into play in his house too.
The beauty of the box is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Sometimes we don’t even tear off the flaps. The box as it is is plenty of fun. We don’t need to do anything to it and it’s already a toy with endless possibilities. At other times, the box is transformed into more of a house, with windows and a door and a roof and a chimney and a garden with pink flowers in it.
When it’s raining outside, the cardboard box is the game that keeps giving. It sets off something in the little mister’s imagination. It prompts a new word or reminds him of a previously forgotten toy that suddenly must be in his “house”.
It’s not a fancy, expensive toy – but it makes Milin happy. And when the cardboard starts to give way or we want to upgrade to a “house” more decorative, we put the existing model in the bin, get on Pintrest for ideas, and wait for the inevitable ring of the delivery man.