Posted by: katlea611 | June 13, 2012

DIY: Cardboard Bricks

As I’ve mentioned several times here, we try to be frugal in our homeschooling.  When we see opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle, we jump at the chance.

I’ve always wanted my boys to have those ImagiBRICKS I once saw in an international magazine.  I thought they were excellent toys for boys.  When we had Nikki, I don’t think they were sold locally.  Recently though, I saw some at toy stores and malls.  They were the Melissa and Doug Cardboard Bricks BUT they were not cheap.  In other words, we could not buy them just so my boys could play with cardboard bricks.

Now we, at home, usually collect our empty PET bottles, glass bottles and jars and all sorts of paper to recycle/sell. Nikki usually drinks Zesto (juice in packets) and we buy them a box at a time (there are 10 in a box).  When we had like 15 boxes, I thought, “I can make these into bricks!”  At first, I tried to paper mache them so they would all look smooth but it took forever!  So what I did instead is to cover them with yellowish masking tape, just to make them look uniform.  The boys loved the boxes! They made towers and built them as high as they could until they would collapse.  They made forts.  They made thrones.  They made the boxes into bowling pins and used their dad’s basketball as a bowling ball.  Enzo tried to do the same but usually ended up toppling the boxes like a karate kid.  🙂

Why do I love cardboard boxes?  Because “they involve the child as a whole — the way she moves her muscles, the way she discovers how different objects feel in her hands, the way she thinks about spaces and shapes, and the way she develops thoughts and interests of her own.” (http://www.blocksand3dpuzzles.com/toyblocks)  Here’s more from the same site: “Giant building toy blocks toys are a good investment because children will continue to use the blocks toys as they grow. Infants and toddlers enjoy simply touching and gripping larger blocks. As toddlers, they develop more muscle control and are able to combine blocks, stack them, or line them up. Two-year-olds may demonstrate their first attempts at building structures such as simple walls and towers, and show the beginnings of creative play.

Around the age of three, children learn how to balance and fit the individual toys blocks together to build sturdier towers, then bridges and enclosures. Threes and fours begin to recognize designs and patterns and colors so their towers and buildings becoming works of art. In kindergarten and early primary grades, kids building blocks allow children to recreate structures, cities and landscapes from everyday life.

I’m happy that the boys are happy, basically.  Take note though that these are not for homes with limited space.  We currently have like 20 boxes and it just makes it all the more fun.  So, if you have the boxes, the space, and the kids, make your own cardboard boxes too!  Believe me, it’s a lotta fun!

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