Today Emily was re-reading one of her favorite books and it gave me a great idea. I wanted to share this with you because it’s a perfect budget friendly gift idea that would be sure to please most young kids. With Christmas coming, I thought it was the perfect time to share this.
The book is called Christina Katerina & The Box and is written by Patricia Lee Gauch. (You probably already see where I’m going with this…)
As the story goes, Christina Katerina and her mother are both excited when the new refrigerator arrives in its large brown carton, but they are excited for very different reasons. Christina quickly claims the box, where she creates a castle, a clubhouse, and other fantastic playthings with her friend Fats Watson. Every time her latest creation gets messed up, she simply turns it into something new until one day the box gets wet and Christina’s mother is all too happy to finally throw the box away. That is, until Fats brings over 2 new boxes from his mother’s new washer and dryer!
This book is full of the imagination that should play a huge part in every child’s life. Seeing something plain and simple and being able to turn it into something grand is a skill many have forgotten. It is truly refreshing to see children get excited about something that doesn’t light up, make sounds or use batteries.
Back to my idea…
As parents we always joke that kids would rather play with the box the toy came in than the toy itself, right? So let’s just skip the toy and give them the box!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to pair this book with a huge cardboard wardrobe box as a gift for a child this Christmas? Yes, I’m serious! Give them a box. I would bet that most children under 12 with any sense of imagination would love to have a HUGE box as an empty canvas for their creativity! I know my 9 1/2 year old daughter would love this gift idea – if she didn’t already own the book, that is. She’d still love the box! If you really felt the need to dress up the gift, you could include a package of markers or crayons, but don’t go overboard. The idea is to keep it simple. Let them use their imagination to create – and re-create – new adventures.
So skip the battery operated, noise making, video game playing gadgets and instead get to the dollar store for some extra wrapping paper. You’ll need it to wrap that huge box. Read the book together and turn them loose to see what they create.
My daughter, Emily, has always loved to play with boxes. She has made everything from row boats to castles and race cars to animal shelters – all from cardboard. She still tries to keep every empty box that makes its way into the house. I hope that continues for years to come!
Here are just a few of our favorites!
Check out another one of my low on cost, but big on imagination gift ideas: A Homemade Detective Kit!