Activities for Infants and Toddlers – An Old Cardboard Box

You don’t need to spend tons of money or create a beautiful tray of work to entertain your toddler.  Sometimes, all you need is a piece of trash — like a large cardboard box.  I remember playing with cardboard boxes when I was a child, so when we got Baby #2’s carseat I made sure we saved the box for a rainy day.  Well, this fall has been full of rainy days!

At first, I just cut a few “windows” into the box and gave L a crayon.  She enjoyed coloring on all sides of the box day after day — the novelty of it really lasted a lot longer than I expected!  After about a week, the box began taking up space in my living room while L moved on to more interesting things.  Just when I was about to take it down to the basement, another rainy day struck.

While L was taking her afternoon nap, I spread out a tarp and put the box on top.  I got out a tray for paint and a roller brush.  When she woke up and came downstairs, L was so excited to see what I had set up!
Have I mentioned how much I hate letting toddlers paint?  It’s my least favorite thing.  Ever.  So of course L loves it. We still paint naked in this house, and we probably will until L is a teenager.  It’s the only thing that keeps me semi-sane while allowing a one and half year old to run around with a paintbrush.  
I’m sad to say that this is the first time I gave L anything other than a regular paintbrush to use while painting.  I bought a few different types of brushes months ago, but my fear of painting made me hide them away.  L loved using the different motion of rolling paint on, and it kept her busy (and me on the verge of a panic attack) all afternoon.