By Kathryn Sukalich on May 3, 2013

Really Cool Idea: Turn Empty Boxes into Toys

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Box Play for Kids, Cardboard, Toys, Upcycle

Photo: Box Play for Kids

You may not think letting your kids play with trash is a good idea, but some packaging items can actually make great toys. Box Play for Kids, a Phoenix-based company that uses stickers to turn empty boxes into creations that foster creative play, can help you and your kids do this, all while repurposing what you would otherwise throw away.

Box Play for Kids, Cardboard, Sticker, Upcycle

Photo: Box Play for Kids

“Anybody who has kids knows that little kids are obsessed with two things; empty boxes and stickers,” Janette Eusebio Harwell, the creator of Box Play for Kids, told Earth911. “One Saturday morning our daughter was playing with her stickers and she went into our recycling bin and started playing with boxes. I started putting the boxes back into the recycling bin and as I was putting them back I thought, ‘hey, this egg carton looks like a piano.’ There was also a mac and cheese box that looked like a camera.”

From there, Harwell, who also owns a design and advertising agency, designed stickers that could cover those boxes, turning them from trash into toys. Box Play for Kids transforms many types of boxes and cardboard products including cereal boxes, milk cartons and toilet paper tubes. These items become everything from animals to instruments and are recommended for kids ages two and up.

In addition to helping upcycle discarded cardboard, Box Play for Kids stickers are also made with eco-friendly practices. They are printed locally on 100 percent recycled paper and are uncoated for easier recycling. Because they are uncoated, kids can also customize the toys with markers or crayons.

“I didn’t want the kids to just stick them on and do nothing. They can add things, embellish them, draw on them,” Harwell said.

Box Play for Kids in currently raising funds through Kickstarter to expand their operations. Harwell hopes to increase inventory, attend trade shows, hire sales support and implement a new marketing plan with the funds. To learn more about the project, watch the video below or visit Box Play for Kids’ Kickstarter campaign to contribute.

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