When you’re next making boiled eggs, carefully remove the top of the eggs only and scoop out the contents. Wash the eggshells, let dry and use a marker pen and googly eyes to decorate the eggs with faces. Fill the shells with dampened cotton wool. Sprinkle birdseed or other plant seeds on the cotton wool. Place eggs back in the carton, in a well-lit spot (on your windowsill should do the trick) then watch the seeds grow into a head of hair for Mr and Mrs Egghead. Just remember to keep the cotton wool moist.
2. Beep, beep
You can easily turn a sturdy cardboard box into a racing car. Just tape up all four sides of a box, and the base, keeping the top open. Paint the box white using water-based paint. Add yellow-painted headlights, blue-painted wheels and a black-painted bumper. Don’t forget a cardboard windscreen and steering wheel, too!
3. Hey, green thumbs!
Let the kids look after their own little garden by planting succulents inside a large shell. A grown-up will need to carefully drill a drainage hole in the base of the shell (a diamond-tip bit will do the trick) then the kids can fill the shell with soil and plant their favourite succulent cuttings.
4. It’s show time!
Create a theatre for your kids to put on a show with their collection of hand puppets and soft toys. Just trim a cardboard box so that you are left with a u-shape, cut a square hole in the centre panel and then let the kids decorate the theatre water-based paint and fabric curtains on each side of the opening. Lights, camera, action!
5. Fairy wonderland
In a large terracotta pot, you can create a wonderland for fairies and other magical visitors to your garden. Fill the pot with soil and then let the kids add their favourite small plants. Place miniature toys among the plants to create the fairyland scene.
6. Rocket man
Does your littlie love to play dress ups? Make them a pretend rocket pack using two silver-painted plastic bottles attached to a cardboard panel with arms straps. Add flames to the upturned bottle openings using coloured felt or cardboard, taped into position.
7. Fun fort
Raid your recycling bin for all kinds of cardboard tubes and boxes, then let the kids get creative by transforming the haul into a castle. Using the picture as a guide, a square cardboard box is ideal for the foundations and cardboard tubes make awesome towers. Tape the lot together using masking tape and paint the walls and towers in water-based grey paint. Add red-painted roofs, colourful paper flags and an arched doorway, too.
8. Let the games begin
If your kids love backyard games, you can make them medals to hang around their neck come the end of the day. Just loop circles of gold, silver and bronze-painted cardboard onto red ribbon. You can also make the medal ceremony podiums – at three different heights – using rigid cardboard boxes (well taped together) or a selection of timber crates.
9. Knock, knock
Turn a low hollow in a tree’s trunk into a magical doorway for fairies by covering the hole with a cute miniature door. A grown-up needs to cut the timber shapes to make the door, the little roof and the landing. Fit the door to the tree with small hinges. The kids can place fairies on the landing and check back every day for new magical visitors.
10. Outer space
Let the kids pretend to land on the moon by creating a rocket ship from cardboard boxes, taped together and spray-painted with shimmery silver paint. You can easily make the kids astronaut-style headgear by cutting the bottom out of a square box, then cutting a circle in the front for their faces to peek out.