Everyday, Simple Idea #6: Cardboard Boxes

I am sharing some of the simple, daily things I do at home as a Mom that come from my occupational therapy background.

#6 Cardboard Boxes

box as airplaneMy children have spent more time playing with cardboard boxes than almost any other toy in the house.  We seem to always have a few around in various shapes and sizes.  Each box lasts about a week, then get recycled.  Cheap, easy toy.

Child in toy car box

As a pediatric occupational therapist, I love toys that inspire creativity.  Cardboard boxes are versatile and build flexible thinking through imaginative play.  Above, the box was a race car in one instance and a cargo airplane in another.  I’ve seen them be picnic tables, dancing stages, baby doll beds, refrigerators, among many other things.  From age 2-5, the brain is rapidly developing the frontal lobes, which control higher level thinking skills.  This area is stimulated through pretend play, problem solving, and creative thinking.  Look around your home for safe objects you might otherwise toss or recycle; give the objects to your children and let their imaginations take over.

Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.