Playing With Boxes
What kid doesn’t like playing with boxes? And what mama doesn’t like the sound of children coming up with their own ideas on how to build something? I wanted to share this simple toy, that was given to my older kids, when their baby sister was born. It is an exceptional tool to get your children’s creative juices flowing and to see the little engineer come out in them. It is called Makedo Find & Make Space Pod and comes in several designs including a car, robot, plane, flowers, playhouse, and doll house among several more options.
What You Need
The Makedo kit, priced between $9–$20 on Amazon, comes with everything you need except the boxes. The kit includes fun stickers for kids to decorate their creation and nifty plastic fasteners that are sturdy where needed. The “rivet” pieces hold together very well yet can be easily separated for future use. The “safe-saw” works, but only with considerable effort, at least with thicker cardboard. I definitely recommend using something else for more heavy-duty cutting (this is where I stepped in with a box cutter to help them cut certain pieces).
Let Them Go!
At first, it was tempting to act as project manager and make suggestions about how they should build their space ship, but I quickly came to the realization that their little brains thinking this through is what makes this unstructured play toy so wonderful and unique. So, I stepped back and started organizing the garage instead. The great thing about the reusable clips is that you can easily remove them and start over if another design sounds better. The directions with this kit are purposely very vague so that kids can conceptualize what they want to build; there is no one way to do it! I loved watching my two children work together to organize the differently-sized box pieces, brainstorm ideas, and ultimately help one another put each part together (with some help from me at times). This would be an excellent independent toy as well, allowing a single child to get lost in the design and implementation process. The Makedo website is an excellent resource to gather ideas and inspiration. The directions say recommended for children five and above, which I agree is an accurate minimum age.
The Final Touches
In the end, my husband and I helped cut out some “windows” and “doors” on the Spaceship and then let the kiddos cover it, inside and out, with stickers. They were so proud of their final creation and played in it for weeks. In a world overflowing with TV and electronics, I believe this is the epitome of a creative toy that gets high marks from this mom.