If you have little ones in your house, you know that nothing grows faster than your tyke’s feet. Every few months, you are back at the store pinching the toe on a new pair of sneaks, and of course, with each pair of shoes comes another shoebox. You could recycle them, but the sturdy construction and varied sizes make shoe boxes the perfect craft supply. Next time you upgrade your kiddo’s kicks, save the box and teach him a lesson in upcycling by repurposing those handy boxes.
1. Keepsake Boxes
Memory boxes are an ideal craft to create with your little one -- simply cover the box in wrapping paper and add ribbon or stickers to jazz up the boring cardboard exterior. Your kiddo can also paint or draw pictures on the box to personalize it. The box can then be used to store keepsakes or photographs that are special to your child. Older preschoolers may enjoy creating a time capsule together by placing photos, newspaper clippings and other objects that won’t be missed in the box and tucking it away for a year or more. Your child will love making his own personal mailbox -- cut a slit in the lid of the decorated box and start delivering special notes, cards and letters to your tot.
2. Learning Activities
A cardboard box can be turned into an effective learning tool and activity. Help your kiddo design a diorama as a way to learn something new. Teach your child about life on the farm, make a representation of a zoo, create a replica of the neighborhood park or even make a mini version of your tot's own bedroom in the shoebox. Your kiddo can use clay, paint and construction paper to make the diorama come to life.
3. Homemade Play Activities
Encourage creativity by helping your child create imaginative toys out of a shoebox. Several shoe boxes can be glued together to create a one-of-a-kind dollhouse in which each box will represent a different room of the house. A shoebox can also be turned into special garage to house toy cars or a barn for your tot’s toy animals to live in. Help your child design and put on a puppet show, using a shoebox as a puppet theater background. Or add authenticity to your child's deep sea adventure by creating a treasure chest that your swashbuckling mini-pirate is sure to delight in -- decorate the box to look like a fancy chest for him to store his “buried treasure” in.
4. Storage Boxes
Help your child design a storage and organizational space to fight the clutter in her bedroom or toy room. A special craft caddy will keep all your kiddo's art supplies neat, organized and in one place; glue a couple of plastic cups to the bottom of the box to store crayons, markers and other craft supplies, cardboard dividers can keep bulky items separated and easy to find. Your little one can also store her sticker collection, doll accessories or miscellaneous toys such as bouncy balls, jacks or dice in a personalized storage container.
- Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images