Like most kids, when Levi gets a new toy, he’s almost as excited about playing with the box as he is about the toy that’s inside. In fact, depending on the toy, sometimes we get more mileage out of the box in the long run.
I recently found out about a cool local company that understands this all too well. Play From Scratch doesn’t sell toys with flashy lights or sounds. They don’t sell toys made from plastic. In fact, after visiting them, I’m tempted to say they don’t sell toys at all.
So what do they sell? They sell cardboard boxes and tubes.
I know, that doesn’t seem like much. But think about all the possibilities. A box can be a car, a fire truck, an ice cream stand, a rocket ship, a fort, and countless other things. A tube can be a bowling pin, a light saber, wheels on a car, and plenty more. The owners of Play From Scratch get that. They’re not selling toys. They’re selling canvasses for imagination and creativity.
Their products are more than just your basic shipping cartons, too. For one thing, their materials are sourced locally here in MN. 70% of the cardboard used in their boxes and 100% used in their tubes is made from post-consumer waste (already recycled from something else). Naturally, they’re also 100% recyclable, so when your child is done playing with them, they’re not adding to the ever-growing landfill problem.
They put a lot of effort into the design of their products, too. Everything folds or stacks inside each other for storage, and you don’t need tape or scissors to assemble them. There are perforations so you can pop out shapes to make windows or just for the fun of dropping things into the box. Plus the material is sturdy, so it lasts through more than one play session.
I was so impressed with the idea of going back to basics for playtime that I’m going to try a little experiment when I get back from my trip to the Caribbean next week. Levi’s bedroom has become a disaster lately – there are toys everywhere, and it seems like no matter how often I put things away in bins and baskets, he’s always dumping them back out again. Most he only plays with for a little while before moving on to something else, and there are plenty he doesn’t even touch any more.
When I get back in town, I’m going to try replacing all of his toys with two things: the Box of Boxes and the Tube of Tubes. For one, it’ll be nice to get rid of the clutter. But really, I want to see if he’ll even miss the other toys that were there. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to donate them all yet – I’m going to move everything to the basement storage area just in case this doesn’t go well.)
I can’t wait to let you guys know how my little experiment goes!
*Play From Scratch was nice enough to let me stop in and visit their warehouse with Levi. They did not ask me to write this post – I just happen to think their products are awesome and I wanted to give y’all a little bit of background so you know the context of my experiment in a couple weeks.