Introduction: Keep the Children Entertained - Cardboard Buildings

About: My creativity tends to remain relegated to my software development and solutions to IT problems... Which isn't going to make for any exciting Instructables. However, I do enjoy tinkering. There will probably …
As I write this, our son is off school for the easter/spring school break. Two weeks of a young child full of energy and mischief calls for making sure we have plenty of things to keep him entertained and out of trouble.

I thought I'd share a few of the things we are doing that others may find useful as well. The aim behind this is inexpensive fun that leads to something a child can feel a sense of achievement in, as well as putting some of that energy to good use.

This time we have borrowed an idea from his school. We have changed a few things schools don't have time to do with children. The final product will be a small cardboard house.

Step 1: The Obligatory "What You Need" List.

You will want to make sure you have everything to hand and sorted out before you get started. So here is a quick list of what you need.

Basic Equipment:
* Craft Knife
* A Cutting Board
* Cellotape
* Scissors
* Cling Film/Plastic Wrap

* Cling Film/Plastic Wrap
* Small Cardboard Cereal Box(es)

Decorating Equipment:
* Pencils/Crayons/Paint etc

Anything that isn't already laying around the home you are likely to be able to find in any well stocked craft shop. I have popped a list of places that you can find on-line if you need any help finding supplies.

Step 2: Preparation

Start off by taking the small cereal boxes and ensuring both ends are open. Then cut open the flap along one side to open the whole box out flat.

Your child (or you - go on, you know you'd be making one at the same time) can then draw on doors and windows.

Step 3: Colouring Fun

Time to colour in the house. Have plenty of fun, there's no need to be boring like me and do it all in one colour.

Step 4: Precise Incisions

Now you should have a nice and colourful box. Take your craft knife and carefully cut out the glass areas of the windows, and around three sides of the door. Score the 4th side of the door to allow it to be opened or closed.

Step 5: Sticking Things Together

Cut small sections of cling film (plastic wrap) to cover the windows. Then they need to be stuck in place.

Step 6: Final Build

Finally, stick the box back together with glue or tape.

Hey presto, you've just spent 30-60 minutes of quality time and your child has a little memento of the occasion as well.