Monday, June 30, 2008

The Cardboard Mansion

Have you ever built a house in one day? My daughter built one late yesterday afternoon.

Ok, so it wasn’t an actual house, but my two-year old granddaughter and three-year old grandson were as proud of it as if it were a million-dollar mansion.

I had purchased a file cabinet for my home office and was hauling the box out the front door. The kids were playing on the deck. My grandson wanted to help, so I handed it over to him. As I watched him drag it across the deck, a thought occurred to me. I went back in the house, grabbed a carving knife, and hurried back outside.

My daughter gave me a funny look when I handed the knife to her. “Build your babies a house,” I said. She grinned and went to work.

You see, I built houses for my children when they were growing up. Any cardboard box that went through our home was usually worn out before it left. My girls have had Barbie’s fancy bedroom outfit, but they would still make her a bed from a shoe box. They created pillows and comforters from my kitchen towels and washcloths. Even thought they had a table and chairs, they would still use a television box for a table and one of my bathroom towels for a tablecloth.

Needless to say, the kids had a blast in their cardboard house. My daughter laughed as she watched them walk into the box, shut the door, and peek out the makeshift windows. The kids giggled and screamed as we knocked on the door and asked if anyone was home. Their laughter was golden.

Don’t waste any small chance to give your child a memory and a little bit of fun. Keep in mind; it doesn’t take much to build a cardboard mansion.


Anonymous said...

Lisa --
You've done a great job of beautifully capturing a childhood memory: your grandchildren will remember that cardboard house all their lives. We too often forget that the simple things still truly are The Best.
Great post!

Carma said...

Lisa, I loved this memory. My grandkids love playing in boxes. If people only realized they could save a whole bunch of money by letting children use their own imagination.

Theresa Schultz said...

Hey Lisa

Great post. My kids also played in cardboard boxes. It really stimulates the imagination when you don't have everything planned out for them and they can just play!


Judy said...

This was a wonderful moment to share. We moved quite a bit when my daughter was younger - the moving boxes actually became a small castle at one point. Great fun - everyone it involved and there is usually a lot of giggling and lots of memories made.

Thank you for sharing this adventure.

Judy Ferril

terri.forehand said...

Great post, I know others will love your ideas too. I posted your site on my blog tonight for other parents to find. Enjoy.

Dorothy Massey said...

Enjoyed your post, Lisa. I'm an Avon rep as well as a writer and my son and his friends have found many uses for the cardboard boxes my stock arrives in. They've made robots, wrestling rings, hats and shields to name a few. Children have so much nowadays but they can still get so much joy from a cardboard box. Dorothy

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hi, Lisa,

Ahh...cardboard boxes. I don't know about you, but even at my age I think it's fun to play in a cardboard box. I guess that's because I remember all the great things a cardboard box could become when I was a child.

Super blog! I'll be back often.

BTW - a clothesline is my other great memory from childhood. These days, many kids live in neighborhoods where clotheslines are outlawed. I can't even imagine such a thing!

Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach
"When Your Pen Won't Budge, Read The Morning Nudge"