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Play Fridge


  • Cardboard Box
  • Packing Tape
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Extra cardboard to make shelves


I’ve wanted my kids to have a play fridge for a while, and I knew as soon as  I saw this box that it would work perfectly. I turned the box wrong side out, cut out a door, and added a pipe cleaner for a door handle. The shelves are made out of a second sheet of cardboard that was being used as packing material.

If I were a detail-oriented mom, I would line the inside so that the original contents of the box were on display. But I’m not, and it turns out that that’s a good thing – Emma was initially upset about my using her box this way (Johnny and I put it together during her naptime), but then decided it was okay because the pictures were still on the inside. She likes the little girl on this box, who she says “looks kind of like Emma.”


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.

10 thoughts on “Play Fridge”

  1. Cool! I did something similar last year to make a stove out of a box. :) It worked great for a while, until they started climbing on top of the box and caved it in one too many times.

  2. That’s why I haven’t tried making a stove out of a box yet… I’m hoping the fridge is tall enough they won’t try climbing on it. My kids do climb on their cardboard washer/dryer, so we’ll see how long it lasts.

  3. Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva

    You know what? This is a really cute idea. I use to love playing with cardboard boxes when I was younger. Me and my sisters could take one cardboard box and turn it into a million things. This post brings back a lot of memories. I find it really neat that you added a handle to the outside. I would have just cut a hole in the front. :)Take care.

  4. More cardboard goodness! Someday some publisher/scout is sure to realize the market out there for home-made cardboard toys and come looking for you. This is recycling at its artistic, functional best!

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