Most moms quickly find out that their tots like the box just as much as whatever gift came inside it. So why not make the box the main event? Cardboard has come a long way from its throwaway days, now being used to create modern, creative toys, furniture, play structures, and even iPod speakers! We tracked down nine of our favorite kid-friendly cardboard finds. Not only are the end results pretty awesome, but also, when you choose cardboard, you can also feel good about investing in an eco-friendly and recyclable product. Keep clicking to see some pretty amazing paper creations!
How many things can you make from a cardboard box? When it comes to creating a green nursery, we've seen bassinets and cribs, highchairs, and more all crafted from the ubiquitous recyclable box. Now it's time to add some seating to the eco-friendly room with Pete Oyler's rip + tatter chair ($55). The completely recyclable seat is made from hammered out industrial cardboard, making it a bit more designer-friendly than many of the other cardboard furniture items we've seen. Best of all, it's light enough for lil ones to move from room-to-room, or out to the recycle bin when it's seen its last days!
Pimp your cardboard box! Before going crazy with gifts this holiday season, remember that kids tend to have more fun with the box a toy came in than the toy itself. With a little imagination, a box can be converted into a car, plane, or train stand, but with Rolobox, it's reality. For $13, this set of reusable wheels and brackets can be attached to any box and transform it into a mode of transportation. With chunky nuts and bolts, the hardware is perfectly sized for preschoolers to use on their own, though some adult help may speed up the process!
To what extreme would you go to be green? Lessen your lil one's carbon footprint with an entire nursery (or toddler's room) that can be folded down and tossed into the recycle bin once your child has outgrown the goodies. If you're planning to raise an environmentally conscious kiddo, check out all our wonderful cardboard furniture and toy options.
Amsterdam ad agency Nothing has manifested its name in its office space by building it entirely out of cardboard. The idea was conceived by Alrik Koudenburg who wanted to use the most "nothing" building material he could find. The space was designed by Joost van Bleiswijk and uses a no-screw-no-glue technique. Beyond that, the walls double as a creative canvas for the creative agency, allowing clients and staff to leave their mark. Not only does it amaze me that everything from the desks, shelves, stairs, and pillars are made from cardboard, but that it all looks so polished and streamlined. There's nothing "trashy" about it. To see more photos, read more
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair! While housing prices may be falling, your lil ones can live like royalty with the Calacastle cardboard castle ($125). Made from high-quality cardboard, the easy to build play set is large and sturdy enough for tots of all ages and can be decorated to your princess' specifications. With hidden storage areas and secret compartments, it is the perfect hideaway. The 41" x 41" x 49" kit can even be rearranged to create new layouts when kids become bored with the current one. And when they have had their fill of the set, it is completely recyclable.
If raising a green baby is your goal, feast your eyes on the Green Lullaby Cradle. Constructed from cardboard, this sweet sleeper doesn't require a hammer, nail or a screwdriver — just a few bends and folds.
Priced at $69, the white rocker comes with a clean surface — perfect for your own decorative ideas. When your wee one outgrows the simple frame, you can flatten and stow it away.
What do you think of the Eco-friendly cradle?
The Sh*t Box ($30) is a lightweight cardboard toilet that packs flat for portability, made specifically for outdoor use. Whether you're heading to Burning Man or your ole porcelain toilet is broke, Sh*t's got you covered . . . and it can even be used as a stool (har har). Comes with 10 biodegradable poo bags! What do you think? Would you buy one? Use one? Could be cleaner than a Porta Potty!
My great-grandfather used to say that the best gift you can give a child is a cardboard box. He would marvel at the myriad ways a lil one could use the box — climbing in and out, coloring it, turning it into a house, and more.
Maybe that's what the folks at Paperpod Cardboard Creations had in mind when they began crafting furniture and toys out of recycled cardboard. The British company's sturdy, lightweight, and environmentally-friendly creations include rocket ships ($77), forts ($39), and teepees ($80) that are easy to assemble and fold flat for storage. The blank canvas created by the cardboard also gives your tot the opportunity to showcase his creativity, as paint, marker, crayons, stickers, and glue can all be used for decorating.
Guaranteed to provide hours of uninterrupted play, the products can be purchased in the US at Cardboarddesign.
Ahh, sweet, sweet revenge! If your feline has an itch to scratch (your couch, your bed, your $500 chaise), and you don't exactly have the extra funds lying around to scoop up one of those fab and functional scratchable ottomans, then let your kitty have at it on this super cute, and totally affordable Dachshund Scratcher ($25) at least until you sock some cash away for that designer Kitty Cube - a must have for June!
This scratcher from Imperial Cat is designed to mimic natural tree bark with its unique honeycomb surface, and will keep your cat coming back to scratch since it's infused with pure and organic catnip, saving your drapes from mutilation. But the Dachshund scratcher isn't the only fun shape you can get from Imperial Cat! Check out other designs when you read more