The Cardboard Box – Inspired Creative Play

Posted by on September 28, 2014

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Albert Einstein


The Cardboard Box and The Stick are two out of 53 toys which have been inducted into the Toy Hall Of Fame.

The Toy Hall of Fame is located next to The Strong, the National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. Anyone can nominate a toy which they feel has stood the test of time and inspired creative play but, it is the Historians and Educators who have the final say on what is to be inducted.

Brilliant news!

As cardboard boxes and sticks are recognised as prestigious items and meet the criteria for the Toy Hall of Fame, they have been awarded the ultimate tick of approval. Save your cereal boxes and parcel packaging, collect those sticks from the garden, wrap and pile them up under the tree for Christmas. Let’s spare no expense – after all we want nothing but the best for our little cherubs. This years gifts are sorted!

“Your welcome” (in advance).

You might, or might not, just want to add a couple of ‘props’ such as a box of ‘Makedo’ to spice things up a bit!

Make Do
Makedo is a box of reusable construction tools including re-clips, lock-hinge and a safe-saw, designed to unlock a whole new world of possibilities for creative play. ‘Makedo’ with a range of previously discarded single-use items such as cardboard boxes, plastic containers and packaging to expand young (and old) imaginations while promoting sustainable practices around recycling, being entertained and having fun.

Oh but where on earth do you store all these collected ‘craft’ items?

I hear you…

Items which are honoured at the Toy Hall of Fame should nearly have pride of place and enjoy regular congratulations for withstanding the test of time with some of the fussiest critics around (our children) – right? Not strategically stashed out of sight, in a minimalist-as-possible-with-two-kids house, in the dark unused depths of the spare room patiently waiting for the trigger words to be excitedly declared “let’s have an afternoon of ‘Makedo!’ ”

Make Do


The magic you can’t ‘hear’ from looking at these photos is the camaraderie between Father and Son with comments such as:

“Let’s build in a secret weapon on this side”, “Oh Awesome! This is going to be sooo cool” and “What’s that Tony Stark, a new control panel attached to his back – great idea!”

And that was just from my Husband…:-)

‘Time’ is shaping up to be the most valuable gift you can give anyone these days and on this particular morning a couple of hours were set aside for some crazy, quality time. This priceless interaction alone is a good enough reason why cardboard boxes and any other game involving imagination will always be welcome in our home.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that Makedo can be bought at Biome (who we are affiliated with) CWMS’s favourite Eco-Store and stockist of pretty much everything you could possibly need and want for ‘healthy and harmonious green living’. You can read more about the CWMS affiliated link here and/or if you are present hunting for a budding young, creative designer, you can follow this link directly to the online store.

Now although there are so many unisex Makedo design ideas online, our boys are all about Robots. Baby Girl is partial to Robots, however, it is her ‘Bubba’s’ (dolls) which she is most passionate about – so we’ve got that covered as well.

This was the perfect gift for a recent birthday celebrated out of town:

  • Slim packaging to transfer
  • Cardboard boxes can be picked up just about anywhere once you arrive
  • Hours of fun while in the close quarters of a hotel room
  • Easily jazzed up with birthday decorations
  • The only thing left to bring home at the end of the holiday is the legs for the process to be repeated at home.

Baby Girl carts her ‘crib’ and ‘bubba’ all over the house. It is nice and light and at any stage she stops using it, the only parts to be stored away are the legs – bonus. This ‘toy’ follows the same principals as Makedoreusable pieces to encourage creative play, all based around the ‘you-beaut’ cardboard box.

Imaginabox was discovered at a store called Crackerjack Toys. As promised, any recommendations listed on these pages are personally tried, tested and guaranteed by CWMS.

Crackerjack Toys caters for ages from 0-11. They stock a great range of toys which are eco friendly, educational, traditional, as well as toys which are just great fun. This local small business has exceptional customer service, a new online facility up and running, excellent recommendations for all ages and budgets and most importantly the friendly staff have extreme patience with all children learning to count out their pocket money, one coin at a time, over the counter!

So now we have our School Holidays Mascot – a Robot called ‘WARS-E’ (decorated in recycled Star Wars with resemblance to the movie character WALL-E), lovingly being carted in and out of his ‘space-cruiser’ and involved in all outdoors activities, as well as a bed for the ‘bubbas’ to have their sleep. It is just brilliant watching a story unfold through the eyes of children and seeing their role playing skills develop; especially if they don’t realise your watching…

While they are happily occupied with their new handmade ‘with love’ creations, the remaining collection of cardboard boxes can now be sorted and put aside for next time, used as a cardboard weed mat in the garden (great story to read if you like a tidy garden but have no time for weeding), or placed in the recycle bin.



Year after year children of all ages and nationalities enjoy hours of fun and free play with sticks and boxes. Who wouldn’t enjoy being submersed in an imaginative world filled with no rules and no boundaries, just endless possibilities. High rating television programs such as Play School have embraced the diversity of the cardboard box and have inspired generation after generation to chop, glue, paint, stick and completely repurpose these and other everyday single-use household items into a whole range of fun props to help tell their stories. Just last night I also learnt about the movie ‘The Boxtrolls’ which has been released in cinemas right on queue for the school holidays. These animated characters appear to use their boxes as both a disguise and a portable bedroom – so the value of the box continues into the next generation…

The Toy Hall of Fame recognise their lifelong value and Einstein promoted the importance of imagination so there is only one thing left to do –

Jump in and have a go!

We would all love to see what end results you come up with…

– Shea


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