Having drawn my three year old nephew's name for Christmas, we, of course, began the search for the gift that was thoughtful, educational and a little bit creative. My wife found a gift in a mail order catalog called Uncommon Goods that we thought was a huge (thinking refrigerator box size here) fire station box that he could set up, play with, crawl around in and paint. It got good reviews. We ordered it up. It shipped promptly, and we were promptly disappointed. No crawling around inside this box. Maybe we should have looked a little closer at the dimensions, but honestly looking back at the picture in the catalog, it appeared large...in the end, the size was less than impressive. We paid $20 for a cardboard box! Needless to say, we decided against giving it to my nephew for Christmas.
Fast forward to February. My son turned three himself and since this "box of disappointment" had sat in the corner of our closet since December, we just decided that my son would get it as a gift from his little sister... Well, I have to say, we honestly didn't give this $20 box a fair chance! My son and I spent a memorable Saturday morning painting away on this box together. The cool thing was, the crazier he got with the paint, the better it looked. I filled in some of the details and I have to say we ended up with a finished product we could be proud of. We let it dry and my son promptly filled it up with his toy firetrucks. I guess the old joke about giving kids toys and they'll just play with the box holds true... even if the box is the toy! Brilliant!
Here are a couple boxes you can paint with your child:
Imagination Box 4 Paintable Barn from Sturdy Double-walled Corrugated Board (Google Affiliate Ad)Imagination Box Paintable Schoolhouse (Google Affiliate Ad)