Getting dinner cooked with little ones can be tough sometimes. It’s late in the day. They are tired. They are hungry. They are needy.
Involving them in the preparation of dinner can keep them entertained, but sometimes it’s not possible. In the past, I have given them bowls of cereal or crushed cracker to stir. But lately I’ve found that sometimes it’s the simplest things that keep them happiest longest. Yes, I’m talking cardboard boxes. (You know how I love ’em!)
It all started with this shipping box I had by the trash can, waiting to go out. I was flipping chicken in the skillet when I turned to see them both trying to fit in it. (Thankfully the camera was on top of the microwave at the time.)
They played with that box the entire time I made dinner.
The next night they turned the box into a pirate ship. (Yes, it STILL hadn’t made it to the trash.) When I went to change the paper towel roll my son grabbed it and said it was his telescope. He started saying, “Yo-ho-ho…” So I suggested the box could be his pirate ship. Another paper towel tube became the flag pole. I made a super fast flag for the boat, then they did the rest of the decorating while I made dinner.
The pirate ship hung around the kitchen for a few more days, supplying several days of entertainment (and getting more colorful) while I cooked dinner.
Don’t have a shipping box?
I have found ANY box can spark creativity in little ones. Got an empty cereal box or cracker box? Perfect! A box from juice drinks and a paper towel tube (with my favorite duct tape) is all we needed for a quick Hot Wheels play set.
Everyone talks about how little ones seem to prefer the boxes over toys when they are babies. I never imagined they could help me get dinner done.
How have cardboard boxes inspired your little ones?