I had stated in an earlier post that KaBOOM.org is mainly focused on outdoor playgrounds and is not the best resource for indoor home projects ideas, and while I’m not redacting that at all, there was some motivation in their October newsletter: DIY Playground Ideas.
The newspaper fort seems a little sparse, but is a design I haven’t seen before–it caught my eye and it’s exposure could be just what’s needed to spark some imagination. The newspaper beams can be fun to crawl under and over, as long as it’s strong enough. Plus, draping a sheet over the frame will make a cozy hideaway if your little one prefers an enclosure.
Also found on the Pinterest site: Cardboard Obstacle Course
The source site is Russian and even with Google Translate, the accompanying text isn’t perfect, but the idea of a cardboard obstacle course/maze is great, as are the pictures. Again, this idea is geared more towards the outside, but a similar construct can be made indoors–the train of cardboard boxes in the picture on the left below could trail down a hallway, and any child would enjoy playing in the individual cardboard house in the bottom right picture, just the right size to fit in a living room or playroom. The circle cut-outs on the sides and roofs give kids amusing openings to investigate their surroundings. I especially like the idea of kids being able to paint and decorate their own cardboard ‘hut’. Since this site is more for younger children who likely aren’t at the arts and crafts stage, you may have to save this idea for a later time, but what a unique and engaging concept for a birthday party or family picnic or any get-together with many children–a lot of activities and interaction without much cost! The source blog, http://www.playandgrow.ru/ has many other awesome ideas to make toys and structures out of cardboard and other scrap materials.
Another idea that I found from a link of a link from the KaBOOM! Pinterest space is the balance board tutorial illustrated to the right. It’s shown as being used by an older child, though the author describes it as being enjoyable for a wide range of ages. Though the author does comment that their own toddler was too small to enjoy the balance board for its intended purpose, I can see the bright reflective paper as being a source of entertainment regardless for even the youngest audience. I haven’t tried it myself, but one modification for toddlers would be to have them sit on the board while holding on to you and allow it to teeter totter. The change in balance makes kids squeal with delight, making it entertaining for both you and them.
In the interest of upcoming Halloween, and to circle back to the KaBOOM! newsletter, here are some really clever and kid-friendly costumes made from cardboard boxes, just in case you (or your kid) haven’t decided what to wear yet, want to save some money from the overpriced Halloween stores, and/or want to stand out with a truly original ensemble this year (though I’m not sure how some of these kids extend their arms to get candy…) :