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Five ways a cardboard box can save your sanity on a snow day

December 13, 2015 3 min read

It’s that time of year again: Ice warnings, blizzards, snow days, and being cooped up in your house with excited little ones. When the walls of your home start closing in how do you keep your crew occupied and yourself sane?

As every pinterest-loving parent knows, there are tons of activity ideas online. These typically range everywhere from “that took you HOW long?” to “you’ve got to be kidding me.” We combed through them so you don’t have to, and created a Leachco-approved list of top activities to keep your kiddos occupied when they are cooped up indoors. And because we love lists that do double duty, this time we focused on ways to use those cardboard boxes that have been filling up your recycle bin all season.  Let’s put them to good use and have some fun.

1. Box of Stars

    Make a cave out of a cardboard box and poke holes scattered across one side using a pen or screwdriver. Push holiday lights through the holes and watch the lights become stars. It’s fun to squeeze into the box with your little one to gaze up at the stars, talking about the colors or reading space-themed books.  

    Want to kick it up a notch for older kids?  Try making the shapes of actual
    and discuss the mythology of each one.

    Source:Play at Home Mom

    > Entertainment rating ★★★✩✩

    > Effort rating

    2. Lego town

    With one massive box or a few big boxes taped together you can make your child mayor of his or her own town with just markers and Legos. Grab a black marker, draw some roads connecting across the cardboard, and let your little one do the rest!  Your child’s imagination gets to run free when he or she is designing the town and making the rules.  

    The best part is the box city keeps all those tiny Lego pieces contained with minimal cleanup.Have any older kids at home who want to get in on the fun?  Have them write out a charter for city hall or a list of penalties to post near the jail.

    Source: Picklebums

    > Entertainment rating ★★★

    > Effort rating

    3. Coloring Box

    Plop each kid in their own box and hand them two crayons. They can scribble on the bottom and sides of the box and not get in trouble for drawing off onto the floor or the kitchen table.You can enjoy your coffee in peace as your children channel their wildest imaginations. Definitely be prepared to “Ooh” and “Aah” at their masterpieces.

    Source: Berry Sweet Baby

    Older kid modification: Have them draw anything they want, but in the style of a particular artist (Picasso, for example). For two or more kiddos, have them each draw for 30 minutes then discuss one another’s work, noticing details and praising the parts they like best.

    > Entertainment rating ★★★

    > Effort rating

    4. Box Train

    All aboard for a cross country adventure in your living room!  Build some train cars with a box cutter and duct tape, stick some chairs inside, and let your kids decorate the outside however they like.  

    Here’s where imagination comes: kids can dress up as conductors, decide where to go, and bounce up and down or lean left and right on their wild train ride. Maybe there’s even a dining car that serves healthy snacks and drinks.  Let older siblings look up train maps online and plan a route from coast to coast, including points of interest along the way.

    Source:Apartment Therapy

    Even though this particular train is outside, you can use this activity inside and have a blast without making too much mess.

    > Entertainment rating ★★★

    > Effort rating

    5. Puppet Theater


    This one takes a bit of setup, but it’s so much fun. Use a box cutter to cut a window in the side of a big box for the puppet stage. Use markers or paint to decorate the side facing the audience and hang “curtains” (aka kitchen towels) from wire or string. You can make your own puppets from socks and felt or just use stuffed animals.

    Lights down. Curtain up. Let the show begin.

    > Entertainment rating ★★★

    > Effort rating

    Your Turn

    There you have it, five fun cardboard box activities for a snow day with the kids. Did you try one? Did they love it? We want to hear about your experience in the comments below.