Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cardboard genius...

I'm posting today because in the battle between cleaning out the pantry and writing a post, the post won.  Sometimes people ask how I find time to keep up a blog.  Well, come on over to my house and have a look around sometime, and it'll become obvious.

This video is worth the ten minutes.  If you have a child who doesn't quite fit in, or if you've ever been that kid, it'll make you cry.  This kid built a cardboard arcade at his dad's auto parts store.  After weeks of building games out of cardboard, making tickets and game passes, and even making his own Caine's Arcade staff t-shirt, and after sitting patiently on the sidewalk for days waiting for customers, Caine got his first taker.  This guy sees what is beautiful and creative in Caine, and he enters Caine's world in a way that's its own form of genius... 

A few months ago, I noticed a box of broken down boxes in a prominent spot in the Children's Museum engineering room and started thinking of cardboard as more science than trash.  Since then, I established a box of cardboard in the schoolroom and added masking tape and popsicle sticks to my regular grocery shopping list, so this 

is what you see when you open my front door.  I prefer to think of it as transparency rather than a comprehensive and irreversible takeover of my home by little people.  

One of my kids is more interested than the others, but they've all made some cool stuff, and the resident cardboard genius has built some pretty intricate things:  a cash register, a robot, an engine, drums* and every kind of weapon he can possibly forge out of cardboard.  This is one of the homeschooly things I want to keep up even if/when I hang up my homeschool hat.

* The drum set started off as nunchucks.  The failed nunchucks were converted to drum sticks and a drum set  was added.


  1. My mom always seemed to have cardboard boxes around for projects just like this. We loved it as kids. Props to you!

  2. Saw this feature on GMA the other morning wiith this kid and his cardboard arcade. Cool story. Immediately thought of you and your cardboard engineer. I thought at the time how your guy would have loved joining him in his arcade venture.

  3. LOve your cardboard engineers. Nan


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