Studies show that taking part in arts and crafts can have a positive effect on children, helping their ‘all-round development’, self-esteem, decision making and cognitive development.
This means that some of the most beneficial activities to help your child can be carried out at home, for free, with everyday objects found around your house.
Safestore, the leading supplier of cardboard packaging, has put together a list of the top 10 creations you can make at home, with a cardboard box, and are calling on parents to enjoy some free fun.
1. Zoom around in a cardboard aeroplane
Cut the flaps off the box (beware your little one will immediately jump in!)
Cut some ‘dips’ into the long sides of the box so that its easier to climb in and out
Cut a horizontal slit in each long side of the box
Use the 2 long flaps that were cut off to cut 2 identical wings
Slide the wings into the slits of the box
Use the smaller flaps to cut out a propeller (2 long rounded blades and a centre circle)
Tape the propeller to the front
Use the remaining cardboard to cut a tail and use a slit in the back to poke it through.
2. Climb aboard a space rocket
Use a big rectangular box for this one….stand it on end so it’s nice and tall
Open the top end and cut the flaps so that they can be taped together into a point for the top of the ship
Cut a door out of one of the sides and reinforce its hinges and all other joins and edges with silver duct tape which will look very cool!
Cut some circular windows at the perfect height for your little astronaut to peer out
Use some extra card to make some wings to attach to the sides and make sure they stand on the floor to help support it.
3. Get ready to burn some rubber in a race car
Cut the 2 long flaps and one short flap off the box
Fold the remaining short flap up halfway to make a windshield and tape it with duct tape to hold it in place
Use something round to cut semicircles on each side of the box to make it easy for your little one to get in and out
Use the card from the flaps and use a plate or tin lid to cut 4 large circles for wheels and stick them on
Cut another wheel and use it as a steering wheel. Attach this inside the car and use something like a bottle lid for the horn
Stick plastic cups to the front of the car as lights
Use sharpies, paints, and foil to make it look amazing!
4. Take to the high seas in a pirate ship
You need 2 boxes for this one, a large rectangular one and a smaller square-sized one.
Turn the rectangular one on its end so its standing tall
Open the flaps and use duct tape to hold them open
Cut 3 of the 4 flaps off the smaller box
Turn it on its side with the remaining flap on the floor and use the flap to connect it to the other box. Tape all the sides to fix it together into one structure
The smaller box then becomes the cockpit area for the children to stand in
Cut round windows out inside the taller box
Get creative and add a jolly roger flag on a stick and a steering helm to the front
5. Become a robot!
Use 2 boxes to make an amazing robot costume
Use the smaller box for the head.
Tape the top of the box together and cut the flaps off the bottom. Cut an oval-shaped hole out of the front to see out of.
Use paper cups to create some eyes to attach to the front and use some discarded card to create an aerial for the top of the head.
Use the bigger box for the body. Cut all the flaps off the top and make sure the bottom is taped shut
The taped underside becomes the front of your robot body so turn the box on its side. Cut a semi-circle in the short side for your neck to fit in and cut arm holes in the two sides so you can wear the box
Cover the front of the box with colours and materials to make your robot come to life!
6. Get ready for battle in your castle
Take a large box, open the flaps and tape them open.
Cut turret shapes into the flaps and cut windows in the main body of the box
Cut a door that can be lifted up and down in the front
7. Make a house for your dolls
Use a shallow box for this one
Cut off the flaps and turn the box to stand on its long edge with the open side facing out
Use the flaps to cut a piece of card to become the ‘floor’ of the upstairs of your dolls house, dividing the upstairs and downstairs
Cut a ‘roof’ by making a triangle with a bottom side the same length as your box and taping it to the top
Make room dividers using small pieces of card and use your creativity and imagination to fill the rooms with things you find around your home.
8. Be the star of your own TV show in your own TV set
Turn a large box on its side with the flaps facing away from you
Cut the flaps off
Cut a large rectangle out of the closed side of the box that is facing you – this is your tv screen
Leave enough of the box intact on the side of the screen so that you can use pens, paints and bottle lids to make buttons and dials
Cut an antenna out of the discarded flaps and stick this to the top. You could wrap it in foil to look extra cool!
Your little ones can get in the box, behind the screen and perform to their heart’s content!
9. Catch some baddies in your police car
Follow instructions for number 3 but paint your car black and white, add your ‘Police’ logo and a siren to the front using an upturned plastic cup painted red and yellow.
10. Set up your very own shop!
Use a tall box for this one. Stand it up and open the end flaps so it is as tall as it can be and tape them together so they stay up
On the front of your shop, draw out a semi-circle shape which will be the serving hatch. Remember to make it the right height for their head when standing inside the box
Cut out an entrance door on the adjacent side of the box
Paint the whole thing!
Cut a ‘counter’ to sit in the shop window by cutting a piece of card the correct length and attaching strips of card to it to form a wedge so it can be secured over the edge of the serving window
Decorate with a shop awning, signs and price lists!
Grab your paint, glue, scissors and some crafty house treasures such as toilet rolls and foil paper and create some artistic masterpieces!