Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yes, The Packaging Is STILL the Best Part!

When you were a small child, do you remember opening a gift, only to set it aside and play with the box? There is one Christmas that stands out in my memory because my mom got a large appliance of some sort, and my sister and I turned that box into a play house and spent hours in the front yard playing in it. I don’t even remember what the present was!

My children are the same way…they love a good box! Over the years we’ve turned boxes into houses, rocket ships, trains, and the like. Their cardboard sides have been used for crafts of all sorts. I’ve started doing more of our shopping on line, and whenever a package is delivered, I have several boys begging for rights to the box! But now, we’re finding that the packing box has another treasure to offer…cornstarch packing peanuts!

Yesterday when Joshua’s new grammar books arrived, I handed a few of the packing peanuts to the boys. They weren’t impressed, until I told them how to dampen the ends and stick them together. Then all hands flew to that box…they had so much fun building with them! It wasn’t a very big box, so the peanut supply was small and they were used up quickly. But oh, they were fun!

Another package was delivered this morning. It was so funny--as soon as I opened the box, the boys grabbed a few peanuts and licked them to see if they would stick! They were more excited about those peanuts (yes, they are the sticky kind, not boring ol’ styrofoam!) than they were about the can of yummy freeze-dried strawberries the peanuts were protecting. I put them away, telling the boys that we would build something with them once they finished their schoolwork. Nothing like a good incentive to keep them on task, right? I can’t wait to see what they will create this time!

Jordan's expression after licking a peanut...he decided he'd rather lick his finger and touch it to the peanut instead! The other boys didn't seem to mind the taste and licked away!

I’m thinking about ordering a big bag of these for the boys. I did a little bit of research, and you can buy colored ones, called Nuudles, specifically for kid’s crafts. Or you can order plain white ones from a packing company. They’re hard to compare price-wise, since the former are labeled with a piece count and the latter by cubic feet. I suspect that the plain ones from a shipping supply store will be less expensive, though. I’ll let you know what I find.

What would you do? Would you spend extra for the fun colors? Or would you stick with cheap basic white, knowing that your children would still have fun with them?


Anonymous said...

Who knows what lovely chemicals go into making those "peanuts." I'd be inclined to put out a dish of water for them to use to activate the sticky characteristics of the peanuts and instruct them not to do any licking. Better safe than sorry!

Jenny said...

Good point. I thought about that after the fact and will put out some water when we use the ones we got yesterday.

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