Thursday, March 11, 2010

Free planet-friendly building blocks

We all know that a refrigerator box makes a wonderful toy, but what about the small packages we throw daily into our recycling? 

I was at a friends house on a play date when she excitedly took out new cardboard "blocks".  "Forty dollars from Melissa and Doug", she told me.   They are terrific; the kids loved them – but I couldn't help noticing that they look and feel like the cardboard packaging for butter.  That gave me the idea to "make" my own.

I started filling a garbage bag with cereal boxes, cracker boxes,  and other rectangular packaging that usually ends up in recycling.   I was amazed at how fast my collection grew.   My reused boxes have several advantages over the $40 (plus shipping & handling) counterpart.  They are stronger, since they must be sturdy enough to protect food on its often long journey to consumers.  They already came in the proper box shape (versus the blocks from Melissa & Doug which need to be assembled).  They are several sizes for building versatility.  And for course, they are free.

The kids may paint over them for an additional activity at some point, but for now it's fun seeing the original labels and watching yesterdays food packaging turn into today's creation. 

Cara'bout You Books™