Boys and Their Toys
How many uses can a toddler find for a discarded cardboard box?
There is something about enclosed spaces that captivates kids of all ages.
Crawling under a table with the lights out becomes a journey to a magical place where a child may act out an imaginary scene. Flying into space, exploring a cave or playing hide-and-seek — the options are limitless.
Boxes are also a strange source of fascination for kids. The item in the box could be a 65-inch HD plasma television, but to kids the most valuable and attractive object is the ordinary box rather than the product inside. Levi is surrounded by toys of various colours, sizes and costs, but it’s the humble cardboard contraption that seems to tickle Levi’s pickle the most.
Inanimate boxes come in various guises and, like the steady stream of social butterflies lining up to gain entry into hot events, Levi constantly finds himself gravitating towards them.
The nappy box becomes a thrilling concert experience. What used to house a brand new vacuum cleaner is now where Levi plays peekaboo and hide-and-seek with us. A microwave box is converted into a fine-dining extravaganza at a prime restaurant.
Levi’s imagination doesn’t just stop at boxes, though.
A paper shopping bag comes alive after grocery shopping. As we empty it and transfer its contents to the pantry or refrigerator, Levi sees fit to ride the bag based on what he just saw on television.
A classic example of a child’s visionary exploration skills: I came home with several bags of shopping. As Michele and I got busy in the kitchen, a strange silence overcame the house.
As any parent can testify, when a child turns quiet for more than a few moments you know something is up.
It didn’t take us long to find Levi perched comfortably in one of the bags, mimicking the sounds of a car rolling down a hill as he swayed from side to side.
‘Vrooommmmmm… ’ Levi growled in a low voice.
‘Oh, hello! Is that a car you’re sitting in?’ I chirped.
‘Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Beep, beep!’ Levi tapped on his horn as he steered his imaginary vehicle down a twisting mountain road.
One wonders why parents even bother spending copious amount of money purchasing toys for their children. The simplest everyday objects bring them the most joy.
Next time you have a mid-sized box, send it over to me. Michele will object, but I sure won’t mind saving money on toys!