Cardboard boxes – Why they’re important for children

Cardboard creations

Everybody knows young children love cardboard boxes and when they have gifts the boxes are usually played with just as much as the contents if not more.  As my children get older, I have discovered their love of cardboard boxes hasn’t waned.  Samantha (9) and Imogen (7) spend hours and hours making things from stuff I would regard as rubbish, this week’s favourite medium has been the good old cardboard box.  They’ve made a dolls house with lots of people and furniture, a till with buttons you can press and a slot where the receipt comes out and lots of Russian doll ornaments that can be hung up.

Every time I’m just about to throw something in the recycling bin, I have one of the girls asking me if they can keep it, bottles, bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, egg boxes…anything, nothing is safe.  Sometimes I desperately want to say ‘no’ because it would be so nice to have a tidy house for a change but who am I to be in the way of creativity?  When I’m old I can have a boring tidy house but I hope I have plenty of grandchildren to come round and make a mess.

Who needs to spend money to keep children entertained?!




Why’s creativity so important?

It is extremely rare for my children to ever be playing with toys, they’ve always preferred make believe games and being creative with whatever they can find.  I think it’s wonderful for children’s brains to be able to develop in this way.  There are numerous studies that have found children that have plenty of time to be organically creative have enhanced intellectual, social and emotional development.  This is why children’s free time is so important, it is no good for them to be rigidly controlled in structured lessons and play time.  When my children show initiative and ingenuity, I am immensely proud and so impressed.



  1. I love the Russian doll! I agree with you. Letting our children be creative is crucial if we want them to grow up being strong, independent people. Same here, cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls rarely get to the recycling bin before getting transformed into something much more exciting (or not, but it doesn’t matter, it makes them happy!). xMel
    Mel recently posted…Enjoying a Week off at Home as a FamilyMy Profile

    • Our recycling bin always contains lots of amazing creations which unfortunately we can’t keep because there’s always so much being made.

  2. Cardboard boxes. Very popular. Lost count of the number of creations and games my three have made with cardboard boxes. Really good choice for free play activity. #LetKidsBeKids
    Cheryl recently posted…Making a felt leekMy Profile

    • There are just never enough ;)

  3. Wow, those dolls look amazing! You are so right, creativity from children is the best thing, I love watching my kids come up with their own ideas etc.
    Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids
    Karen Bell recently posted…Spaghetti artMy Profile

    • They come up with such original ideas when left to their own devices.

  4. I love the detail in those cardboard people! My kids also love going through the recycling! #minicreations
    Maddy@writingbubble recently posted…limerick challenge #3My Profile

    • Waste not, want not!

  5. Love the Russian dolls! I know what you mean about recycling bin ‘diving’, my daughter has squirrelled away various things up in her bedroom for crafting…..

    • It would be so nice to have a room devoted to nothing but crafting, that way at least the rest of my house would be tidy!

    • And what a dilemma it is! x

  6. Lucas says – Cardboard boxes ROCK!!! I love playing in them but I think the Mother’s a right spoilsport coz she won’t let me sleep in one!!! This is a MEGA cool post.
    Thanks for linking to #minicreations
    KidGLloves recently posted…Dear Lucas: Our Little TravelsMy Profile

  7. Oh I can’t wait until my boys can create things like this! My biggest baby loves cardboard boxes for climbing in, but we have recently been using them for crafts too! Lovely post, you are right to be so proud of them! #letkidsbekids
    Amy @2boys1mum recently posted…Amazin’ Amazon Box Garden ArtMy Profile

    • Thanks Amy x


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