The good news is you’ve got a new refrigerator, but before breaking up and recycling its box consider using it for a crafts project to make with your children.
An adult should do the cutting for any of these projects, as you’ll need to use a very sharp box cutter or craft knife. Leave the painting and decorating to the kids. Turn a simple large cardboard box into a train, castle or puppet theater for little ones to enjoy.
Place the box on its side for a train. Cut off the top so children can sit inside. Cut windows along the sides. Using smaller cardboard boxes or the discarded top, cut circles that you glue to the side of wheels. Paint the wheels in silver or cover in aluminum foil.
For a castle, use the box placed on its side. Cut a large wide rectangle from each of the sides to form the corner towers. Along the cut out edge, cut a series of small rectangles out to make the distinctive defensive crenellations. Draw a small drawbridge on the front and cut the flap out. Poke small holes in the sides of the bridge and along the sides of where the bridge is raised and loop string through the holes. Paint in grey and then add rectangular stone shapes on top of that to simulate masonry. Get the kids to add knights, horses and trees by painting them on the cut out pieces of cardboard and pasting them on.
To make a puppet theater, stand the refrigerator box on its bottom so it stands at its full height. Cut three sides out from a square positioned at a height comfortable for the children to stand or kneel. Make sure there are at least a few inches left on each side for stability. Cut a hole in the back of the box for the puppeteers to enter. Paint the box in bright colors and patterns. Attach a dowel on the inside of the box across the “stage” area to hang a curtain.