Welcome to the second entry in the Scrapbook Sunday series (which collects fun activities for kids/families from parents who’ve tried them with their kids, for others to explore). Today, Karen shares how to make your own cardboard box town!
Have you heard of Biggleton? The new ‘preschool live action series featuring a cast of five to seven year olds pretending to be grown-ups in an imaginary town’ first aired on CBeebies on 27 November 2017.
It turned out to be really well timed for us in The Mini Malpi household, as my eldest was off sick from school. A lot of screen time was had that day as he lay on the sofa feeling sorry for himself, the numerous trailers for Biggleton adding some much-needed excitement to his day.
His eager anticipation was well rewarded as the 5.40pm showing of the first episode, ‘Obstacle Race’, was very much enjoyed, and then re-watched via iPlayer.
Fast forward to the following day when he had completely rallied but was still within the forty-eight-hour school exclusion rule, and I was even more grateful for the timing of the new series, as it also gave us an activity for the unscheduled day at home.
The set of Biggleton looks as if it is constructed out of cardboard and so is eminently re-creatable; and, while a cardboard box is surely a staple in any child’s toy box, we were lucky to have a particularly large one on hand from a recent delivery.
Opening up the box to lay it flat, we had four sides to make our town with. Luke was most concerned that there should be a shop, so we stuck alternating coloured paper to one top flap to emulate a stripy market stall canopy, and he quickly busied himself collecting an eclectic range of items to stock in it including books, flasks, and breast pump attachments (obviously). These were set up and arranged several times during the process as we laid the cardboard flat to work on it or stood it up to see how it was looking.
On the next side, I drew on a door and windows for a house – thankfully my drawing skills extend as far as straight lines and, if you manage to find a proper ruler rather than the craft lollipop stick I made do with, you’ll probably have an even neater end product. Luke decided to draw his window free form anyway. We stuck on triangles of blue paper to the top flap to form a pointed roof and made a night sky by adding star stickers to it. At a later point, I used a knife to cut the cardboard to make the door open as, apparently, the toys wanted to be able to get in and out.
Inspired by my ability to draw squares, I decided the next side would be a block of flats. The final side became a brick wall with a combination of me drawing a few bricks on and Luke cutting yellow pieces of paper to stick on. It’s very important for buildings to be made of brick when you’re a fan of the three little pigs.
I upgraded to drawing rectangles on the bottom flaps to turn them into a road and we stuck on a piece of green paper in front of the house for a garden. With the addition of a couple of other boxes either side of our flattened architecture that was propped up by the sofa and some cushions, plus a plastic post box and a fluffy pigeon, our own Biggleton soon had toy animals and vehicles queuing up to enter the town and kept my five year old entertained for most of the day.
It was a nice simple craft activity that we could both work on at the same time, easy to create with items we already had to hand, and not too difficult to make it look effective. And it could be created on any scale if you only have smaller boxes to hand. Luke was really engaged in its creation and it certainly had his imagination piqued. As it can be folded flat for storage, we’ve had more than one play session with it too.
The first series of Biggleton has now finished but is still available on the iPlayer if you’re quick; otherwise you can just make your own to perform the Biggle Wiggle in!
Keep checking my blog – you never know when another awesome entry like this will be added to the “scrapbook”! If you have a fun activity or recipe for kids/families that you’d like to share, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or read about the Scrapbook Sunday series here.
Karen is a mum of three children, aged 5 and under, who blogs about her family’s mini adventures.
Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!
Welcome to the first entry in this new guest series, Scrapbook Sunday (which collects fun…