Mr. McGroovy is dad and an art teacher-turned-entrepreneur, the success of who's main product, Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets, is almost entirely dependent on getting more parents to make more play-related structures for their kids out of large cardboard boxes.
On his website, he has easy-to-follow plans for building castles, fire engines, princess carriages [...], pirate ships, skyscrapers--you know, the basics.
I wish Mr. McGroovy well with what seems like a truly value-adding endeavor. But how does he reach people--like me, I confess--who don't necessarily want cardboard castles all over their houses and yards, no matter how realistically [sic] painted they are?
Couldn't you deploy those boxes--and Rivets!--to build something more interesting for your kids, something a little offbeat, that looks cool, but that's still fun to play in?
Maybe if they were tagged up a bit with some sweet graffiti, those skyscrapers could work. Or you could recreate your favorite nabe from GTA: San Andreas. Don't have a favorite videogame scene? Get some inspiration from artist Armin Wagner's massive collection of screenshots, Crates In Videogames.
If you were so inclined, you could do up the boxes Elmo-style with fat crayons on a white basecoat.
You could paint some refrigerator boxes up like shipping containers, then turn them into a Freitag store. Or a Lo-Tek concept house. Or get political and build a Gitmo detention center out of shipping containers, like Halliburton did.
This morning, the kid and I made her an ID badge and turned one of her necklaces into a lanyard, so she could be like the folks at mommy's office. Why not turn a bunch of boxes into a cube farm? If you're skeptical, here's the proof-of-concept.
You could have fun and squeeze in a lesson about the fraying social safety net by building a street person house. Add a blue tarp for extra authenticity. Then tell your kid in your sternest voice, "This is not a toy."
You could just do nothing. If you've got eight refrigerator boxes stuck together, what more does a kid need?
Any other ideas? Whatever you can think of, just be sure to help a brother out and buy some rivets.