Arts and crafts

Build a City: Cardboard Boxes for Toddlers

I am one of Meri Cherry’s biggest fans. Meri Cherry is an art teacher turned blogger turned businesswoman. I first discovered her blog a couple of years ago when I saw her rainbow spaghetti party on Pinterest and fell in love. I wouldn’t be surprised if she knew me as “that fangirl” from my comments all over her Instagram. I just love how beautiful and easy her ideas are. She truly brings art to children with very little fuss and all the maximum benefits.

I saw her post on how to Make Your Own City and wanted to adapt it for Pearl. Pearl is a little too young for some of Meri Cherry’s projects that require a couple more years of fine motor skill tuning. So for this one I thought it might be fun to make a “city” out of old cardboard boxes and turn them into her own building blocks. Pearl is all about Legos these days. Whenever we go to the library her eager eyes seek out the big box of Duplo legos they leave out for toddlers.

I also wanted to try this out so that Pearl can learn more about what Mommy does at work while we’re at home playing. It’s nice to give her the opportunity to say “I’m building a city, just like Mommy.”

Pearl’s mom is an amazing city planner, and I mean amazing. Last year she was ranked as one of the most powerful people in the city! One of the main reasons I love nannying is that I love working with women I admire. It’s my small way of helping them conquer the world by taking care of their treasures at home.

All you need is:

  • Recycled boxes in any size ideal for your builder.
  • Spray paint or silver paint
  • Glue gun (optional)

Here’s how ya do it.

  1. Collect your boxes. I just stashed them as they became available, throwing in a couple of cylinders for variety. Then I spray painted everything with Metallic Silver from Krylon, which I found (big surprise) at Michael’s.bd63d570-32df-4e24-9b4d-f2dd06bcfa19
  2. Find a ventilated area to spray them. Be careful if you’re spraying outside not to get it on your clothes or to put the boxes anywhere without a drop cloth or some kind of protector for your floors. I use these drop cloths.591f0fc3-e503-48c3-86c7-fb4e55e07f02
  3. After spraying everything let the boxes dry about 2 hours. After that and in less than five minutes I glued down to keep the flaps out of the way.  424eeb36-0ea9-464e-9f45-64b06717f316Once they were dry, I set them up in an invitation to play. Pearl investigated these new boxes with her baby in tow.


After investigating, she decided to try them out. I love how she started cracking up when the paper towel roll turned silver structure fell over. She’s a silly girl.

I would really like to give Pearl a shot to decorate the boxes just like in Meri Cherry’s art class, but for now giving a bunch of boxes a new coat of paint makes them seem less like waste and more like fun!



What are your favorite recycled crafts?


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