As a young mother, my Christmas fear was always, wondering if I would have the money to buy Christmas presents for my 3 children. When my youngest was 5, I desperately wanted to buy her the girl’s kitchen playset. The first year I didn’t have enough money. By the second year, I was determined and prepared to make the 110.00 purchase of the wonderous Tyco kitchen set.
I shopped for the best price and took the cherished present home. Hidden in the barn and out of sight, I was as proud as a peacock. On Christmas morning, with the new toys beaming in the early morning light, I watched my daughter walk up and open the doors and cabinets on the toy. She picked up the pots and pans and dumped the food out. She turned the knobs. After checking out her other, not so extravagant presents, she followed her sister outside to ride her new bike.
As I watched her walk by the open barn, I saw her dash in. She slowly came out struggling with her find. She dragged the huge cardboard box through the door and out into the yard. As she dropped it and came running to the house, she was screaming,”Hurry Mommy, come help me make a playhouse”.
I scouted through the house and got a knife, scissors, markers and tape. I followed her back to the yard and we began to work. We cut windows on the front and sides, we made a door that opened and closed. We taped the ends for sturdiness. We then decorated the entire outside. This drew the attention of the my son and oldest daughter. They joined in the decorating process. By the time we got through, it was beautiful.
We drew flower boxes below the windows with colorful flowers growing. We put grass and flowers around the bottom of the box. We even drew a cat curled up at the front door.
We sat it up on the front porch. That cardboard box was used as a playhouse for over a month. When it became too flimsy to stand up anymore, we put more tape on the ends and used it to roll down the hill in our back yard. By the time we threw it away, it was totally ripped to pieces.
I am a grandmother now and through 4 grandchildren, I have kept up this practice. Yesterday, my husband brought home the box from his new Kennedy Toolbox. Heavy duty and huge. By this morning, I had taped and decorated the entire box for my granddaughter Daisy, who is 18 months. She has spent the majority of today inside and around the playhouse.
It cost me an hour’s work and used markers, tape, crayons and a discarded cardboard box. Use your imagination in cutting out the doors and windows. Decorate with stickers, markers or whatever you want. These huge boxes are available at appliance centers or places that sell the big tool boxes. Lots of things come in great big cardboard boxes.
With a little research, you could have a wonderful free toy. For the amount of time that most toys you buy last. This is a wonderful extra. It doesn’t always take expensive things to entertain kids. Sometimes, you get more results with old fashioned or simple things. The quality time in the constructing and decorating is irreplaceable.