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Crafts: Turn Gift Boxes Into Toddler Toys

Alison Wood |28, December 2012


After opening all the gifts, cleaning up the wrapping paper and hauling the new treasures to each room, you look around and see a major amount of cardboard! Boxes of all shapes and sizes just laying around your house. You don't really want to throw this stuff away, do you?

Here are some great ides to turn leftover gift boxes into toys and crafts. Make these with your kids for lots of memories, or make them for a surprise for them to wake up to in the morning. Either way, these ideas are sure to be a hit with your little ones!

Cardboard lap top
This is a simple yet fun craft to do! All you need is some card board, a black permanent marker and white computer paper. Grab three sheets of cardboard, one for the bottom and two for the top of the computer.. Connect two sheets together with strong tape to create the bones of the laptop. Then add another sheet, the same size as the top piece, to the top sheet for the screen. Keep the sides open so you can slide different screens in. Position the screen in the open position and secure again with tape to ensure the screen stands up. Write a special message on the first piece of computer paper to welcome your little one. Then keep a stack of computer paper nearby for him to change his screens when he desires. Also, leave crayons and colored pencils for him to embellish his screen. Draw keys on the bottom piece to create a keyboard. Use a black permanent market. Now, let's play computer time!

Marble run toy
Do your kids love to play with marbles? Here's a craft just for them! Cut off the front of a medium sized gift box box, but leave the back and sides. Put a hole in the top of the box for the marble to drop through. With the leftover cardboard, make paths for the marble to fall through by lining them up maze-like. Glue or secure with tape. Create a hole at the end of each line so the marble can drop through. This is not a craft for toddlers, as marbles can be a choking hazard.

Use creativity with this one. Use any size cardboard box for the body, and use other items around the house for the head, legs and antenna. Suggestions are: yogurt cup for head and toilet paper rolls for arms and legs. Googly eyes are perfect for this craft. Decorate the belly with lots of shapes, circles, squares etc. Find these shaped items around the house, like bottle tops and such. Let your munchkins lead in this one as no embellishment or creation can go wrong!

Lego Men
Paint extremely large gift boxes in primary colors, just like Legos. Let paint thoroughly dry. Next, make holes in the boxes for the head, arms and legs. Start passing out the fun costumes and let the games begin!

The options are endless. Cut a medium-large gift box box so it resembles a house. Simply turn it over and cut windows and doors out of the box. Add color and decoration. This will turn out to be a favorite play area, reading area and storage place for toys.

Shape sorter
Turn a cardboard box over and draw circles, squares, cylinders and triangles on the box. These can be a variety of different sizes. Outline each shape with paint to embellish the box. Let paint dry. Then, grab some balls and toys and let your little one begin sorting!

Play kitchen
Choose two large boxes and paint them with your favorite spray paint. Let them air dry completely. Then, make an oven door in the front of one of the boxes. Cut out the rectangle for the oven door, but leave the bottom for opening and closing. Use other cardboard left overs to create some medium circles for stove eyes and smaller ones for the stove control buttons. Create a sink on the other side of the kitchen by cutting a hole slightly smaller than a silver bowl that you will let the kids use for the sink. This will keep the bowl from falling through. Cut out a couple of doors out of the box for the pantry. This will work well on the opposite side of the oven. Cut out some handles and attach with strong tape. For the sink faucet, make candy-cane shaped pieces of cardboard, paint them silver and attach to a rectangular, cardboard base. Make shelves inside the pantry doors by taping or gluing extra cardboard rectangular pieces. You can throw in some shelf liners for an extra touch!

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Olvin Mar 14, 2013 04:30:18 AM ET

This is truly amazing, I think toddlers don't need much expensive toys they need safer and learner toys for them.Thanks for sharing this good ideas.

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