COVID-19 pandemic has been rough on everyone; however, if there is one thing that's for sure, it is the fact that it has been especially challenging for parents stuck at home with their kids.
Mother of two, London-based Sydney Piercey decided to make use of this surplus of time by recycling and repurposing cardboard into everyday household items and interactive toys that are suitable for children as the ultimate quarantine activity.
Children learn and grow by mimicking what people around them do; however, teaching them life skills can be challenging since no one would want a 5-year-old to be around a real stove.
By repurposing cardboard, Piercey was able to get her two kids introduced to useful life skills from an early age.
Using cardboard toys to teach how to use appliances
In an interview with Bored Panda, Piercey stated, "I’ve always enjoyed creating and making things. The idea of making toys from cardboard came from wanting to teach my daughter how to (safely) use appliances in our home."
"Children so often find the most mundane of things interesting, they want to play with the washing machine or the toaster, but it isn’t always safe to do so. The ideas often come from what she’s drawn to around the house."
"For example, after a weekend of her being obsessed with my husband’s record player, I set about making her one from a cardboard box and some loo rolls," adding that it's more fun and inexpensive to make them this way.
She was able to build a washing machine, a dishwasher, a laptop, an SLR camera, a toaster, a record player, as well as a spy kit, an iron, a hairdryer, a concentrator nozzle, and an Afro comb.
She also delved into game items such as a Mario Kart, caps and corks color sorter, and an animal farm.
Making children environmentally conscious
In this unique way, her daughters are now able to mimic her while she does chores around the house.
"I put to use cereal boxes, dog food boxes, loo roll tubes, materials that come and go as usual in our home that would otherwise be recycled. And for me, creating is where I find calm, it’s my way of switching off. Also, the joy it brings me to give my daughter something she loves that I have made myself."
Moreover, as a lover of nature and the outdoors, she aims to be more mindful and teach her children about sustainability and being environmentally conscious.
How to make cardboard items
As you'd imagine, the process of making such creations is not an easy feat and requires patience. She explained the thought and DIY process that goes into making the objects come to life as cardboard replicas to Bored Panda.
She said, "Once I decide the item I want to make, I’ll think of three or four ‘features’ I can include that will make it ‘work’ such as a door that opens, or a shelf that slots in, or a lever, or a switch."
Stating that she doesn't draw anything with a pencil since she likes to be free when working, Piercey explained she mostly uses old cardboard bits to cut straight lines.
In order to tie everything up together, she uses old cardboard boxes, toilet or kitchen roll tubes, and recyclable tape. The tools she uses, for all the DIY fans out there who also want to try making their own cardboard items, are just scissors and a hobby knife.
It certainly is not rocket science, and it doesn't have to last as long. Piercey said that big projects such as "my washing machine, dishwasher, or oven have taken up to two hours to make."
All in all, it is all about spending quality time together with her daughters, according to Piercey. She said, "My daughter and I love crafting together. The color and corks sorter we made took about half an hour to create, but keeps her occupied for ages. If I can, I will elongate crafts we make together as it’s a lovely way to spend time."
From opening up resources to releasing materials the children can play with, numerous organizations have also joined the act of keeping the children entertained amid the quarantine. As winter approaches and strict quarantine measures are in the talks again, you might want to check out what's out there.
H/T Bored Panda