I know art teachers are prone to saving things... but sometimes I think I'm one of the worst! Example: cardboard from cool packaging. My youngest turned one in June and received a World of Eric Carle Zoobies Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Buddy. It's a cool plush toy with a soft story book attached. It was in a box with that trademark Eric Carle painted paper style and had several little illustrations of the VH Caterpillar and the butterfly. I just couldn't throw it away yet, determined to find something to do with it.
I grabbed my box knife and cut out squares and rectangles around my favorite illustrations. Then I remembered we had another Eric Carle box left from a board book set that had A House for Hermit Crab in it. A little more digging through my 3 year old's books led to the discovery of a Curious George box set. He'd had fun playing with the boxes but they were starting to get beat up. I came up with the very simple idea of adding button magnets to the back with a dot of hot glue.
Between the 3 1/2 year old and the 13 month old, the magnets have been a big hit. They're displayed on our oil drip pan magnet board. The boys like to rearrange them. And carry them off. I have visions of using them for storytelling in coming years. The thick cardboard from the packaging makes them pretty sturdy. Now I have a plan for any cool pictures I might come across on cardboard packaging in the future!