Spring is here! But what are you going to do with the kids now that they’re running around like Energiser bunnies and going mental? It turns out that dangling them from the hills hoist and getting the dog to spin them around for hours is frowned upon (at least, that’s what the police told me). We’re going to need to get a little DAD-CRAFTY!
I’ve got some big cardboard boxes and a whole lot of parent-needs-down-time enthusiasm! Let’s whip them into an awesome CARDBOARD BOX MAZE for the munchkins to lose their minds in.
- As many large cardboard boxes as you can find
- A couple of rolls of packing tape OR
- Makedo ‘Make Anything’ kit
I’ve got no blueprint or instruction guide for you here because it’s a go nuts approach that will create the best play-maze. We’re all about connecting the boxes and seeing how many interesting hidey-holes or pop-up areas you can make.
Packing tape works the best, as it’s super strong and will battle valiantly against your childrens’ rough and tumble playing. But you can also use a pre-fab construction kit like I did. It comes with a plastic, safe-around-minors tool (hole punch & cardboard saw), hinges and connectors.
The big upside to these plastic kits is that they can be reused, which allows me to pretend to be an environmental superhero. Plus, ripping apart all of that packing tape when you’re tidying up is just exhausting.
Here are a few builder’s tips to get you cardboard constructing:
- Put the boxes on their side. Join the open bottom of one box to the open top of another. This limits the amount of cutting you need to do and is, well, easier.
- Put in at least one corner. A straight tube of cardboard is only fun for so long, but a corner means that hide & seek will make its DIY debut.
- Grab a box cutter. An easy way to make a corner is to cut a doorway into the side of one of the boxes and then jam the open end of another box up to it. Instant corner.
- Install some light wells. If your box maze becomes quite long it’s also going to get pretty dark on the inside. Fix this by creating peaked roofs. Just join two adjoining box flaps into an A-shape.
- Create a Jack-In-The-Box lookout spot. Turn one of your boxes the right way up so that the open end is on top. Cut a door into one side and join to your maze. This becomes an open-topped place where the kids can pop-up or look around from.
- Windows are great for scaring the kids. Although your light wells will provide enough illumination, cut some small windows into the sides of some of the boxes. Sure, it’s cute as all get out when their little cherub faces peek out cheekily, but that’s nothing on how much fun it is to reach in suddenly and grab them. Terrified toddler screams! He he he.
This story was originally published in the Peninsula Kids Magazine – Winter 2015. Click here to check out the whole digital issue for free!
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