When my parents arrived in town at the beginning of the week they brought with them boxes and boxes of cereal. This is a huge treat for my children since they love it and I rarely buy it. (Just for the record, they brought ~15 boxes and there is only part of one left less than a week later. It takes a lot of cereal to feed between 14 and 15 [my family, my parents, and a house guest] people every morning. That's without seconds and why I don't buy it.) But the boxes are filled with potential for craftiness when they are empty of cereal. This is what we have done for the past two days.
First, we took the boxes and turned them wrong side out so that we had a (mostly) blank, non-glossy surface to work with, and hot glued them back together.
For this project, we were making houses. Some people used paint brushes...
and others used bits of sponge.
It looks like a lot of paint, but I'm realizing that it consists of mostly empty bottles and we are missing some key colors. I think it may be time to restock.
Since today promises to be just as hot as yesterday and to ward off any empty feelings from having to say good-bye to grandparents, we got the paints out again. Well, I did at least. I wanted to make a house, too. (And it never fails that if I start doing something, I will soon be joined by most of the children in very little time. Today was no different.)
I also discovered that it is much easier to paint on the box while it is still flat and hot glue it together afterwards. Here's my house.
And the back.
They're fun because you can see all the sides.
We are growing quite a nice little town. P.'s on the left is a restaurant and I'm showing you the back where P. painted a dumpster filled with garbage, complete with a person coming out of the door with another bag. TM's brick house is in the middle.
More painting was done today. Here is TM's new house. You can see that when you paint flat you have to be sure that both sides will be right side up when the house is put together. (I have found that painting allows TM to relax in a way that it is difficult for him to do otherwise. He relaxes to such a degree that I could probably claim it as a form of therapy for him.)
H. got in on the act as well. She loves to color (mainly because she LOVES color... just the whole idea of it and all the different shades) and so painting was right up her alley. This is today's. You can see her yellow house with a red door on the right side.
Here is yesterday's. I think she could have budding, abstract art abilities. I love her use of color.
I'm coming up with all sorts of projects for empty chip board boxes. You could paint rooms of a house and have a sort of movable dollhouse; you could paint zoo scenes; different types of environments (this would be especially fun if you were studying different ecosystems). I think you get the idea. I also love it because it is a non-permanent toy. We have some really nice, sturdy toys that will last forever and forever... blocks, dolls, Playmobile, Lego, cars. But there are also so many other toys that children love for a while and then they sit on a shelf never to be played with again. But they don't wear out, so it's difficult for some to justify getting rid of them. With this type of toy, about the time it has exceeded its play value, it is also likely to be on its last legs and can be disposed of without guilt. This type of toy is also fun for children to make, but it is also fun for a parent to make a child as a gift. Not bad for a box that was heading to the recycling anyway, huh?