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.