We’ve all heard it before, haven’t we: “I spent a fortune on that toy and the only thing my child is interested in is the box!”

It’s so true though, isn’t it?

We have boxes lying around the house most of the time due to all those deliveries, but are we making the most of them?

Frankly, I don’t think you can ever underestimate the power of a cardboard box!

They are such a great toy, and a brilliant learning tool too!

Let me just go through a few ideas so you can see HOW amazing they are!

First of all, my invention 😉 ‘baby-in-a-box’. I wish I could put a trademark next to that name! However, it’s something so simple that you will love it. Get yourself a plastic curver box, (that’s what I call them anyway) and put a play mat over it to cover all the hard edges, and sit your baby in the box. Make sure that you prop them right back. Now they can see the world in a totally different way than they have seen it before! You can start doing this from when your baby is strong enough to solidly hold their heads and shoulders up. 

Baby-in-a-box

Once your baby is in the box and comfy, then you can add some toys for them to play with that you have around the house. 

The wonderful thing about a ‘baby-in-a-box’ is that they are completely safe; they can sit on the kitchen surface, in the box and chat to you as you work, and you can chat to them. You are both at eye level, your baby can see what you are up to and most importantly, they can see your face. They can independently make choices about the toys that they play with as well. 

So, this activity is going to develop your baby’s gross motor control - the muscles that they need to develop to get strong and hold their bodies up; the ones that they need to develop through the activities that they do to help them be able to walk, run and jump. They will also be developing their fine motor control as they pick up and play with their toys. Of course, they will be developing their language understanding and their language skills as you chat to them and they ‘chat’ back. They will also be developing their awareness of the world around them as they watch you work. 

Give the ‘baby-in-a-box’ a go, they will LOVE it… Oh, and the best bit is, if you have finished in the kitchen and want to go and clean the bathroom or something, just pop all the toys back in the box, pick up the box, and off you go!

Then there is the humble cardboard box. Now, there are SO many ideas of things to do with this that I have made it into a free downloadable for you. 

It includes activities such as: make believe spaces, sensory tunnels, hide and seek, a nature sorter and of course, the ‘putting-things-in-and-taking-things-out-box’

You’ll need a tissue box or something like that for this; the ones with the plastic covering over the hole. Then you can put ribbons, scarves, or wool that you’ve cut up inside the box. You put your hand in and it's quite hard to take things out. This is a really good exercise for developing skills that require fine motor control like developing the skill of using your fingers to grasp things. It’s also a great way to explore textures, cause and effect, and problem solving, while developing language by asking questions and exposing your baby to a range of rich vocabulary.

There's just so much that goes into these tiny little activities and so much your baby gets out of them. The great thing about this is that you can use it time and time and time again; you can put different things in. And you could even have a ‘hide and seek box’ where you put in different things like toys from around the house and your baby has to put their hand in and find what it might be. The possibilities for tissue boxes are endless!

Because there’s so much learning and development that your baby is going to get out of these activities, I have listed that in the guide as well so you know how even the simplest of activities are helping your baby to develop and grow. 

There’s an activity for every age and stage, and none of them need much at all in the way of ‘stuff’, just simple things from in and around your house - and of course… a cardboard box!

Download it here: http://ow.ly/BtZj50AyaE5