The Playful Parents

Love at Play

Playful 16.3 Update: Foosball Dreams



Just a wee bit before Lee turned 4 last week, I sat him and his little brother down on a Saturday afternoon, in front of the computer and we all watched the amazing 9 y.o. Caine show us his wonderful cardboard creations via the Caine’s Arcade video.

I don’t use technology too much to entertain, educate or ‘edutain’ unless desperate. I much prefer the books, excursions and yes, experiential encounters with life. Unless of course, like in the case of chasing this Cardboard Dream, watching the video was the fastest and surest way of showing my 3-almost-4 y.o. the creative possibilities that lay within cardboard.

The boys were enraptured by Caine. (Though the little tootsie, less so than Lee.)

Watching it twice, I finished the viewing with THE question – So, what would you like to make?

“A soccer table!”</em> exclaimed Lee immediately.

A Foosball table it was.

“Erm, so how do we do it?” It wasn’t that I didn’t know but I wanted to see if HE could think of HOW to get it done.

To my pleasure and surprise, he could! And yes, this is a proud Mama boasting!

“First, we need a box. Then, we do this. Then we do this. Then we do this.”


“Can you sketch out how we should do this?” I asked. My motives weren’t pure, I admit. I wasn’t just wanting to understand Lee’s plan. I was also trying to get him used to the concept of making plans and doing drafts. (It will come in handy for when he is an architect, or the next Steve Jobs. A mama can dream, can’t she? Ha!) An ulterior motive was also about getting him to practice some fine muscle skills that will hopefully get him started onhis writing (someday). Finally, and MOST importantly, it was a draggy afternoon and I didn’t want it to get worse with any temper tantrums that could result from me failing to understand or misinterpreting Lee’s cardboard dream.

So right after he made his preliminary sketch, we got started on the creation.

“Which box do we use? I let him help pick through the stash of boxes we had just procured from the Neighbourhood supermarket earlier.

“How do we make it stand again? The box he had picked had been flattened out by the unpackers. He decided that this was best done with his hands and Mama’s help with paper masking tape, snipped up with scissors.

“What colour should we paint now? What do we need to paint? Where should we paint? I let my questions out like a string of candies and Lee , and Zee, like all eager children lapped them up, offering answers, helping get materials and set up the painting area.

We used 3 different types of green paints, squished out into random old plastic containers and the boys just dabbed away at the box with our motley crew of brushes.


Several near paintbrush-poking wars later, the box was all painted. And now it is sitting to dry as it has been for the past few days, no doubt collecting dust for that ‘real vintage’ veneer.

We’re going to be working on hunting out those sticks for the handcrafted Pro-Foosball players we’re going to make this week.

We’ve also got to get the field properly marked out with white, the score counters to track the wins and loses and yes! make the all important goal posts! Oh! And the balls for play! Not sure what the balls are going to be made of because at this stage Lee still thinks those plastic ball pit balls are good. I shall be letting him try out the various ball sizes and materials for him to figure out what works best.

Meanwhile that ends my update about the pursuit of Cardboard Dreams over in my family.

What Cardboard Dreams are you and your kids pursuing?

Here are some more resources I found for you to realize your Cardboard Dreams:

How to Be a Cardboard Refashionista A most comprehensive tutorial by Ikat Bag, run by Singaporean mom now living in the USA, on how you can craft from cardboard. Includes description of the different types available, crafting tips and where to source these cardboards for free. Plus an amazing treasure trove of ideas! Super super mind blowing!

32 DIY cardboard crafts to try A list to get your creative juices flowing.

Cutesy Cardboard Crafts May not be as kid friendly in terms of action but most definitely pretty cute. I especially like those hanging birdies and the mechanical bird.

Update! ( 1 October 2012)

Look what my fellow mom bloggers have been dreaming out of cardboard…

Jasmine of Gift Wrapsody has been fashioning Paper five stones (super old school – I like!) and a tank for our Cardboard Dreams this Friday!

Justina of Mum in the Making made a kitchen!


  1. I loved how you let them take the lead… I am sure they will be immensely proud of their finished game once it is done!

    • Hi Jasmine! It is really not easy trying to follow their lead without the courage to arrive at something totally different to what my adult mind concieves. Haha. But I am glad I did listen this time. I can’t believe how fast my little baby has grown up and now has his own (strong) ideas about what he wants to do.

  2. Pingback: October Playbook: Follow the Giggles | The Playful ParentsThe Playful Parents

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