A Shoe Box Garage

Over the weekend, Ed was 'brrming' his cars around his car mat and had invented a story about how the cars were all looking for parks.

I remembered a garage I had made back when I was doing my teaching rounds for some other little boys who were car-mad and decided to make one for my boy.

It really couldn't be simpler. I turned a sturdy shoe box upside down and made two parallel cuts into it at a couple of centimetre intervals (6 cuts in all). I then lifted the piece of cardboard between the cuts and presto!, instant garage doors and ample parking space for cars.

When I originally made the garages for those boys all those years ago, I made the garage openings different widths and heights and gave the boys a selection of different cars so they could experiment with size and fit.

This eventuated with Ed too because he wanted a garage for his long rocket-launcher truck and "Charlie" (as he is called) wouldn't fit in the original garages I made.

So, after a bit of discussion and problem solving, we found a fit for "Charlie".

Find other great play ideas at the Childhood 101 We Play link up


  1. So simple! Is there anything that can't be done with a cardboard box? My 6 year old and I recently made a really simple stove for my 2 year old niece out of a box - we just cut out a door, drew on some hot plates and stuck on some bottle tops for knobs. It is her favorite thing at the moment.

  2. We don't have many cars, so we don't really need a garage, but how simple and cool! And they could paint it/ colour it, whatever.

    Although, we don't often buy shoes in a box ... this could pose a problem for us. Tissue box maybe? We have plenty of those!

  3. My son loves this sort of thing, and I think we have the same road rug as you

  4. Simple ideas are always the best, aren't they?! My kids are currently making the most of an oversized box (or "house") in the loungeroom.

  5. Brilliant! I will have to keep this in mind for the little world I want to make for my girls and their cars :)

  6. Sometimes we just need to look in our recycle bins. My nephew is always creating something out of the items he finds in the family bin. Love the shoe box garage idea. Thanks for the pot. :)

  7. A great idea and the best bit is that kids love it! Boxes are so useful!! My son once made a "Frank" from the Cars movie using a small box and a toilet roll sticky-taped together. It lasted for about 18 months, getting more and more squashed and dented. Friends would look at us wierdly when we called it Frank!!! :)

  8. That's it! Off to find some boxes!

  9. Thanks for your comments everybody. I'll have to share some more of my shoebox ideas over the coming weeks. Em and I have made a few things together too.

    Jenny - Love the oven idea, will have to file that one away. Our cubby house could use an oven in the summertime

    amandab - I find shoe stores are happy to give away a couple of shoe boxes in the name of fun for kids, but give a tissue box a try.

    Hear Mum Roar - we get so much use out of this road rug, hope you do too

    Squigglemum - simple ideas are the best for sure and big boxes are so much fun while they last

    Becky - would love to see photos of car world. I'm sure the girls will love it

    Joyce - we are constantly having fun with the recycling. Why throw it when you can play with it?

    Tina - you're right, kids do love it. How great that 'Frank' lasted 18 months.

    Kelly - good luck with the box search

  10. My guy is constantly "rescuing" items from the recycle bin that he "needs" to make something out of. We recently had fun using a big sheet of chart paper taped to the coffee table and drawing our own roads, signs, buildings, etc for the cars to drive on/around.

  11. Very fun to do the shoebox garage! We will have to do this sometime. If my boys make a version of this, I will post and will track back to you.

    Found your nice post through the We play link ups at Childhood 101. I linked up this week, too, so hope you will stop and check out my blog:)

    Thanks for sharing your cool idea!

  12. Shoe boxes are fantastic. We are lucky Daddy is a size 16 shoe so his shoe boxes are BIG and can be used for all sort of exciting adventures.

  13. What a great idea, so simple and yet just perfect and I love that these types of experiences teach children that you don't have to always buy 'toys' at the shops, that you can create fun from what you have right there on hand.

  14. Anne - sounds like you made yourselves a homemade car mat. What a great idea

    Colleen - it's taken a while, but I'm off to check out your blog after this. Thanks for reading. Look forward to reading about your own shoe box garage.

    Marita - what my kids would give for a size 16 shoe box .... oh the possibilities!!

    Christie - homemade toys are often the best - aren't they?