Cardboard washer/dryer

Kids love this cardboard washer/dryer DIY upcycled toy.

emma with her cardboard box washer/dryer

We made a cardboard washer/dryer a couple years ago, and Emma recently asked for a reincarnation of it. This is one of the easiest cardboard appliances to make – just take a box, turn it wrong-side out, and cut out most of a circle, leaving part of it attached as the door hinge. Then have the kids draw on some buttons, and send them off to play with it! It’s a huge hit with my kids – and with their friends who come over for play dates!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

19 thoughts on “Cardboard washer/dryer”

  1. joyce:waddleeahchaa.com

    Great post! I recently walked into the gym area of our school and the two year old teacher had put a bunch of cardboard boxes in the gym. All the children were either busy pushing them or sitting in them. It kept the children busy the entire 45 minute playtime. Boxes are the best! :) joyce

  2. Two Chicks and a Hen

    Oh–mine will certainly love this! I’ll put it on the list of things to do in late winter when we’re needing something new.

  3. Very cool. I saw a story in Parent’s magazine about fabulous creations with cardboard boxes and I was thinking I’d create my little guy a car, castle, and fort out of cardboard boxes. Would be a really fun project to do together and – best of all – cardboard boxes *go away* after a few months of play, as opposed to plastic toys.

  4. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    I’ve had this on my to-make list for a long time now. I think my girls would go nuts for it!

  5. Candace @ NaturallyEducational

    Awesome idea! It is amazing how much play value you can get out of a simple cardboard box and some imagination!

  6. If I can find a place to put this we are going to have to make a washer/dryer maybe clothes line, and then we can keep the doll clothes in them! But I’m not sure I can find a home. We do have lots of saved bottle tops for buttons though.

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