11/27/10 Boxing Holiday
Originally at: http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=43630
By Mike Shinn
I have heard it time and time again - despite buying the most expensive gift for your child; they will only play with the box that it came in. As purchases have started to climb due to the holidays, I am reminded of this wisdom. This time around, I have chosen to embrace the concept of boxes and get every last mile out of them. Here are some tips for getting the most from your boxes before they become recycling materials.
For kids, the bigger the box, the better. I have fond memories of the box from a new refrigerator in my early childhood. My whole family joined in transforming the discarded cardboard into a playhouse that lasted for weeks. I have since heard from friends that had built an entire box city after a kitchen remodel. There's no need to wait until after a major household purchase to enjoy the benefits that boxes have to offer. Any appliance store in town, including Costco, is happy to provide you with their discards. If the box is large enough to fit an adult, it is prime A+ material. For it to be acceptable to a child, though, it need only to fit them and allow for regular passage in and out.
Once the box has been procured, it must be personalized. Determine the eventual design of your creation before cutting. Safety must be maintained, so in our case, we had the kids vacate the plain box before I made a few slits with a steak knife for windows and a steering wheel on our space ship. Once cut, our kids got to draw on any part of the box that they wanted - inside and out. My wife and I got to help with the initial outlines before they took over entirely. Be sure to take many pictures of your child's artwork as it progresses
Once the space ship was complete, we determined that it was time for a space launch, complete with countdown. This, of course, meant me pulling both kids up and down the hall with the box atop a blanket. A slow ride is just as enjoyable for them as a fast one and significantly safer. Too fast and your child might bail out into a wall or corner - then you will have a trip to the emergency room.
Any child will immediately show you that boxes are also excellent for drumming. The hollow acoustics make them the perfect instrument. What's more, the box will wear out at about the same pace as your tolerance for the loud noise.
Have a wonderful holiday season and may all of your child's gifts be as enjoyable as the boxes that they come in.
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