October 25, 2010

Play House, I mean Play BARN!

Sometimes it really pays off to hold on to weird things. For example, when grandparents bought Ava and Landon a sandbox, I asked my husband to hold on to the monstrosity of a box that it came in. It just seemed like it should have some great purpose....and it did! When we decided to give our son a farm-themed birthday, this box fit the bill perfectly for the front of a play barn, which would serve as a great decoration and a place for the kids to play once a card table was connected to the back! 

Barn Front
If I already had paint, I would have painted the barn motif onto the box. But I didn't have the inclination to go buy paint, since I had a lot of construction paper! So, the entire barn is decorated with construction paper glued to the box and a big black permanent marker to accentuate the edges. Working with paper, instead of paint, worked well because it was less messy, and I was able to work on it in sections, as I found time to sneak out to the garage (since I was hiding it from my children until the birthday party).

Barn Back
After decorating the box's front and sides, I prepared the back for accommodating a card table, so the kids would be able to play inside. I cut the back of the cardboard box to make a large flap (leaving the top of the flap connected to the box) where I could fit our card table inside the back of the box to help keep everything stable. A sheet over the card table with the box's flap helping to hold it in place against the wind worked like a charm!
Back of play barn.
If you like, a large box can also become a castle or a cottage or a.... whatever your imagination comes up with! Be sure to cut the door and/or windows on the box for added fun. (I intended to cut our barn door so it would open, but after cutting the back with scissors because I couldn't find our box cutters, I just didn't have the will power to go for it.)

A box covered with colored yellow construction paper (marked with crayons)
and tied with string makes a pretty good bale of hay.
Check out the garden cake my brother and I made together for Landon. It was very simple and it took advantage of typical cakes and candies one has around the house.

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