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Small World in a Cardboard Box

One Hundred Toys

It’s a cliché that children love the box more than the toy that came in it. Create a small world in it and that cardboard box may just become the best toy ever!

There’s something deeply satisfying about small world play for young children. They become immersed in their creations, almost believing they are part of the story. A small world in a box has the benefit of being portable and easily put away, too.

You can use boxes of all sizes, from a match box to something big enough to sit in. Paint the box, decorate it with collage or use fabric to create rivers, fields and canopies.

Small world in a box ideas:

  • Draw a road or city using a felt tip pen and fill with cars, figures and blocks
  • Cut holes for windows and doors and turn the box into a hospital, fire station or haunted house
  • Make a forest of pine cones and branches, with a cottage for Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel or The Three Bears

Shoebox diorama

Have you ever made a shoebox diorama?

The idea is so simple.

Take a shoebox (or other suitably-sized box) and decorate the inside like a theatre set.

Then just fill it with figures and start playing. A whole world in a portable box. Great for rainy days and travel days. Making it is as much fun as playing in it. And once the bug bites, you'll find you are creating boxes for all kinds of stories. You can even cut slits in the side for sliding figures and scenery. The only limit is your imagination.

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