Cheap & Easy Toddler Activity = A Cardboard Box!

Hi guys!

If you’ve followed me for a bit, you may have noticed that my 3 year old daughter Charlee LOVES crafts. I’m not kidding when I say that the minute her eyes open in the morning, she’s requesting 2 things – 1. Her morning smoothie 2. To do a craft

I stay home with her so my days are typically spent organizing and planning 1,487 crafts for her to do throughout said day – fail to plan, plan to fail is my motto. Thankfully, she’s easy to please and will often times settle for markers and paper, paint on a paper plate, play-doh or an activity printable I found on Pinterest. 

One of her absolute favorite things in the world is a cardboard box. In fact, I’ve heard from many people that their kids LOVE boxes. Fun fact: I was obsessed with boxes when I was little. My parents have photos of me sleeping in them for goodness sakes! I remember loading up cardboard boxes with my favorite stuffed animals, blankets and pillows and just hanging out and playing for hours. I would watch tv in my box, read books, hide from my siblings and as I said, apparently I would also sleep in them. 

Charlee seems to have inherited the box-loving trait and has taken quite a liking to them! Once every few weeks, we take her to Lowes to pick out a couple moving boxes to construct whatever she feels like at the time – it ranges from a fort to a castle to a coffee shop (that was my personal fave!). She decorates her boxes with stickers, stamps, markers…pretty much anything we can find in our art stash. We usually keep the box in the playroom until we notice she starts to get a little bored with it, usually around a week. That box keeps her busy for HOURS. 

Once her box starts looking a little run down, we load her up with paint and brushes and take it outdoors and allow her to paint her creation to her hearts desire! Once it dries and she gets a bit more outdoor playtime in it, the box will meet its demise in the recycling bin. 

I’m telling y’all – it sounds silly but it’s the best couple bucks you will ever spend! My child has even said that she is going to ask Santa for boxes for her to decorate and play in, haha! Easy enough, right?

What is something that your kids love doing or playing with that is a little “outside the box”? πŸ˜‰ Let me know in the comments below!






  1. Liz says:

    Haha that’s awesome! Seriously, empty boxes are brilliant. She gets to be crafty and problem-solving with creating her own play area, imaginative with giving that play area life as a fun setting, and creative with decorating it! I think it’s fabulous she wants boxes from Santa Claus and honestly…I think I want some boxes to play with too! πŸ˜€

  2. Mallory says:

    How cute!! I’ll have to try this out with my nephews! I’m sure little boys would enjoy this too. Maybe they could paint a “fort” or fire truck with the boxes. πŸ™‚ I like that it keeps them engaged for a long time!

    • Ashleigh says:

      When my nephew came to visit, Charlee had to show him her awesome box coffee shop that she made at the time – he LOVED it as well. A fire truck is a wonderful idea (my husband is a volunteer fireman) and I’m sure my daughter would love being just like Daddy πŸ™‚

  3. Melissa Vera says:

    My girls loved stickers. I could go to the dollar store and buy some stickers and books and they would be happy for days. The dollar store is a great place to find craft supplies.

    • Ashleigh says:

      I totally agree! I hit the Dollar Tree about once per month and let Charlee pick out random art supplies and craft items. We usually get out of there for about $15 and a ton of stuff to keep us busy for the month! I love their holiday/seasonal stuff too πŸ™‚

    • Ashleigh says:

      She absolutely LOVES this activity! I got the textured rollers at the Dollar Tree πŸ™‚ I try to dedicate a an hour or so once a week to planning some activities. Most of the time, I totally wing it though!

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