For some reason, pizza fascinates little children, isn’t it? Taking a pizza order, preparing pizza, and serving it to customers used to be one of my boy’s favourite pretend plays. For the fascination he had on pizzas, I took him to a pizza place one day. Much to my surprise, pizza wasn’t to his liking. Ha, playing and eating are certainly two different things! However, he continues to play in spite of the controversy in the reality 🙂
The little boy had been to an outing with dad. I wanted to make something quick in a couple of hours to surprise him when he returns. I believe all children enjoy opening and closing door-like toy structures; so does he. His fascination for rainbows adding to it, this cardboard fence idea sparked. I also wanted to make a space that had a distinct fence to prevent the baby girl from invading the big brother’s playtime. Not that she wasn’t capable of breaking open the fence and the door; but at least it gave me some time before the war would begin 😆
For the fence and door, I had dismantled the roof from his old play house and reused it to make the fence and the gate. The base of the fence is glued to the tiles on the floor, on both the free ends (the ends that go till the wall in the image above). I made the rainbow using acrylic felt; the shapes were cut and pasted on a cardboard.
One of the Amazon boxes became a food outlet. If you have studied the anatomy of an Amazon cardboard box, you will know how many layers of cardboard sheets are overlapped; so that made to an easy open-close gateway on our pizza outlet.
I have had other moms ask me how these cardboard structures manage to stand unattacked by my children 😆 In fact, we have other kids come over for play dates and yet, these have stood against all of their attempts of destruction.
Here are a few pointers, from my experience, for making a sturdy cardboard play structure:
- Those parts which have to primarily bear the weight need to be extremely sturdy. For such parts, use thick cardboard like the one we get in washing machine and refrigerator packaging. The ordinary cardboard boxes that we get with Amazon or Flipkart can go to the other parts. In this case, the fence was made of a hard cardboard while the food stall was made with am Amazon box.
- Using only a cello tape for fixing two cardboard pieces may not be a good idea. Always fix using a fevicol first. If you think an additional support is required, use a cello tape.
- Give time at every step for the fevicol to dry. Trying to fix something immediately on to another which has just been glued, will spoil all of it.
- Before you assume that your child is never going to keep it for more than a few hours, try one to check.
- Try to create a sense of excitement in your child while making. If possible, do it when they are around and include them in the making. Of course, it is not as easy as said. But, when they are around, when they offer help and effort, children develop a sense of belonging with whatever they are a part of.
- Though may not always work, show your child how to play carefully without destructing the structure or at the least, show them the parts which are most likely to get broken.
More Ideas from the Web
You may want to look at my other DIY posts