Today’s Hint: A Reminder to Save Your Holiday Gift Boxes – They Make Great Toys

When my daughter gets a new toy, she generally likes the box the toy came in better than the toy itself. So I’ve taken to saving the sturdier boxes, adding them to my toddler’s play area. Not only do they make great non-toy toys for toddlers, they also are frugal toy storage solutions (see the image above).

This is why today’s hint is a reminder to save your holiday gift boxes if you have a little one in the house. And I don’t just mean the boxes that toys like Legos come in. Bigger boxes (think the ones play kitchens or real appliances come in), also can serve as easy toddler activity centers and a way for parents to get some necessary downtime after the holiday madness.

Blogger Berry Sweet Baby, for instance, recently wrote about how when none of her usual tricks for winding down her two-year-old boy were working, she “plopped him in an empty” box with two crayons and some lullabies and he remained occupied for a full 45 minutes. People commenting on her post also testified that the trick worked for them as well.

Once your child gets sick of playing with a plain old box, if you have some extra time, you can transform it into something else.

One idea: If you have some cardboard tubes, you could turn a box into an easy do-it-yourself ball maze as blogger a happy wanderer did. Whitney Moss over at Rookie Moms, meanwhile, included a number of clever ideas (think shape sorter and play kitchen, among others) in a great roundup two years ago entitled “Toddler fun: sitting in boxes.” Finally, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m also a fan of saving food boxes and turning them into fun and frugal play food with the help of clear packing tape.

Got other transformation ideas or tips for saving – and playing with — boxes? Share them below.

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