March 19, 2012

Thoughts on a Cardboard House

Our space is small so we do think carefully about all of the toys that have flooded our house in the last year. I know that as Little S gets older (and more willful) we might lose this battle, but for now we work hard to choose toys that are made well and we hope will last long enough to be enjoyed by future generations.

On the other hand it makes sense for some toys to be cheap and disposable. I say if it's got a short shelf-life then lets really make it easy to trash and recycle. Little S has enjoyed plastic playhouses at some of his play dates but there is just no way we have space for something that big and difficult to store. I've seen some examples of cardboard models on line and this seems like a much better option for us, and of course it's something we know we can make ourselves. We thought for a quick minute about giving him a more inventive and modern house, but decided we actually like the simple "house" form. Still, even the most basic cardboard house needs a little design review so we whipped up a quick 1/4 scale model to test out the proportions, tab system, and openings.

We knew we wanted something that was as small as possible but still a fun place for a little guy to hide. We also wanted to be able to assemble it with no glue so that it could be easily disassembled and tucked in a closet (assuming it lasts that long!). This also would allow us to replace one piece if it gets trashed.

Yes, this is our idea of fun on a Saturday morning. We tested it out with Ducky Smith and he seems to be enjoying it too.

Poor Ducky is now homeless thanks to the attack of the curious toddler! We're going to make a few minor changes and then see how much damage he can do to the full size model. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Oh, that is such a neat idea! This little cardboard house is adorable, and I can't wait to see it in full size! It's awesome that you have the talent to make such a thing!

  2. That's a GREAT idea! We're about to be awash with cardboard boxes, and I was trying to think up a little playhouse to make with them. Anything to not think about actually unpacking :)

  3. Wow, you guys are too cool. He, he. I am cracking up at Ducky Smith peeking out of his house! We were gifted a cardboard rocket ship for Christmas and store it in our basement, only bringing it out for rainy days. The boys love it and I love that we can pack it up and put it out of sight!