Keeping your child entertained at home all day can be a difficult task for any parent, especially on a budget. Tixylix is here to inspire you with some little tricks to try with ordinary items you most probably already have at home. 

Here are 9 fun and creative ways to entertain your child with a simple cardboard box.

Afterall, whose childhood involved playing with the cardboard box a present came in instead of the actual present? Next time you have a delivery, keep the box your item arrives in!

Build a fort or playhouse

Create a fairytale castle, or a secret kids club set with a cosy pillow and duvet inside. You could even spend the afternoon sticking colourful tape or stickers to the inside to let your little one’s creativity shine.

Devise a tunnel race

This game is perfect for any competitive siblings! Clear the floor and create your very own obstacle course, built with a cardboard tunnel. For any younger children who are beginning to crawl, take a few cardboard boxes and tape them together to create a sensory tunnel, decorated with shiny colours and textures to explore. 

Play make believe

Whether it be a courageous pirate setting off to sail, or a curious explorer on a time travelling excursion, let your little one's imagination run wild by turning your cardboard box into an adventure. If you have any paint at hand, lay some newspaper down and get creating!

Become a robot

Need a last minute fancy dress idea? Or just looking to make your kid's dream of being a robot a reality? Creating a robot costume out of a few cardboard boxes is easy and fun! If you’re looking for a little extra flare, grab some tin foil for that metallic look and feel.

Create playing cards

This activity is great for any little ones learning their numbers. Cut out equal squares and create your very own supersized deck of cards. Don’t feel restricted to numbers either - you could create Noah’s arc of animals, perfect for a game of animal snap.

Design an at home carnival

Place your cardboard box on the floor, upside down, and cut four holes into one side of it. Label each hole a value (i.e. 50 points for the big one, 100 points for the smaller one). Grab a couple of small balls/bean bags and there you have it! Your very own at home carnival game.

Drive in movie night

Who says you need an outdoor cinema to enjoy a drive-in movie? Spend the afternoon getting creative by transforming your box into a car, then let your little one deck out their box with pillows, duvets and snacks galore. Settle down with their favourite movie.

Make cardboard shapes

If you have a toddler at home, a quick and easy way to make use of your recycling is to make your very own shape matching game. Cut out a large piece of cardboard and draw a series of shapes onto one side. Using a different piece of card, cut out the different shapes and let your little one discover which cut outs match the drawn out shapes - educational and fun tied into one. 

Get messy with paint balloons

This activity is definitely more suited as a garden activity, but it’ll certainly help your little one harness some of their energy. Set up your box outside with the open side facing your child. Place some vibrant colored paint on the floor, along with a few plastic balls, and those sensory squishy creatures available at pound stores. Your child can then dip their items into the paint and throw them inside the box, making the paint splash over each side. This fun and messy activity will have your child in fits of laughter.