Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Green Craft of the Week: DIY Cardboard Blocks Tutorial

Remember those cardboard blocks from your childhood?
Melissa Doug - Deluxe Jumbo Cardboard Blocks
I surely do.  In my preschool days I spent hours playing with them.  I hoped one day we could get a set of these cardboard blocks for our children.

However, given our budget lately, this wish was not to be.  I even spotted a set at a consignment sale, but they seemed pricey still.  So I decided to make some blocks at home.  I was able to use materials that we already have, making the out-of-pocket cost minimal.  After trying them out, we decided it would be fun to try velcro.  The velcro increased the project cost from zero to about $1.99.

This project was well-timed to coincide with watching a Bob the Builder video a few weeks ago.  Now we are reading about how Laura's father built their cabin in Little House on the Prairie.  These blocks are a fun way to extend what we've been learning about construction and..."demolition!"

  • empty milk or juice cartons
  • scissors
  • packing tape
  • sturdy brown paper (reclaimed paper grocery sacks or kraft paper)
  • crayons, optional
1. Carefully open, wash, and dry the cartons.  Cut the top corners and fold flat.  Secure with tape.  The top should now be as flat as the bottom.  Use more tape if necessary.

2. Wrap the rectangular cartons with brown paper.  Cut, wrap, and tape the ends so the results are as flat as possible, which will make them more stackable.  It is best to slit each corner like this:

 3. If desired, invite kids to decorate the blocks with crayons.  They can draw brick patterns or embellish them as creatively as they wish.  When the blocks are done, kids can build an rebuild as their imaginations lead.

Sticky Option: Use strong glue (or hot glue) to affix Velcro patches to blocks and make structures sturdier.

Note: As we acquire more empty cartons we will replace the toilet paper packages with carton blocks.  In the mean time, the hodgepodge works for me!

This post is also linked to: <br>http://www.thethriftyhome.comabc button


The Activity Mom said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Great idea!

PlanningQueen said...

I am with activity mom - what a fabulous idea. My preschooler would just love this and I think he would love the making process, just as much as the playing.