Posted this on Red Tricycle today.. it's the ultimate twofer -- you help the environment by recycling AND you get some really cool building blocks. Thanks to the Brush Family of Bellevue for the idea.
When Colin and Ryan Brush have a play date at their West Bellevue home, there’s bound to be some building going on. That’s because these brothers have an astounding collection (like, hundreds!) of homemade milk carton blocks.
The idea to reuse milk cartons came from their mom, A.J., who grew up doing it and even competed with her neighbors. “I was always jealous when they had more blocks than we did,” she says.
So when son Colin was born, she started saving every half-gallon carton of milk the family used. Fast forward 7 years and another child later, and the Brushes have consumed lots of milk and conserved lots of cartons.
To make a block, you need two cartons. Wash and dry them thoroughly. Then cut the tops off of each and slide one into the other. The result is a solid, sturdy-yet-lightweight rectangular block. They are perfect manipulatives for toddlers because they’re easy for little hands to stack. As kids get older, they can use the blocks for forts, castles, tunnels and whatever else their imaginations inspire.
While the Brush brothers—and all their friends—love their blocks, dad Mike envisions a slight problem in the near future. “We’re running out of space to store them,” he says.