The Best Gift EVER

Baby in a Box | Photo by Keith WilliamsonIt doesn’t matter how sophisticated the toys are that you buy for children, they will get as much pleasure out of playing in the empty cardboard boxes. ~Keith Williamson

I couldn’t have said it better myself. How adorable is his daughter? This photo of her from his Project 365 cracks me up. That is some serious fun.

This holiday season I dare you, I double-dog dare you, give your child a big cardboard box as a gift.
Join me in a parenting experiment. Let’s  get serious here (ha!) and follow the Scientific Method:

1. Propose a Question: At the end of the day, what will win out? Will your child have spent more time with the toys or the box?

2. Hypothesis: Children will find more pleasure with a simple box.

3. Prediction: I believe children who are eight and younger will gravitate towards the box for a longer period throughout the day.

4. Test:  Will you join me in this parenting experiment? Call your local hardware store, Lowes, or Home Depot and try to score yourself a big box. Refrigerator boxes work best.  Keep the box hidden and bring it out after all the major gift unwrapping has occurred. Put a simple bow on the top & do nothing special. Wait and see if they notice and play with it.

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis | Image: Harper FestivalDoes the thought of giving an empty box feel off to you? Put a small token of love inside it, consider the book, Not a Box by Antoinette Portis (for early readers). It is a simply illustrated tale of all the things a box can be to a child.

The power of imagination makes us infinite. ~John Muir

5. Analysis: Share your results with me, so we can compare notes. Tag me on Facebook or Instagram with photos documenting your holiday experiment.



Photo Credit: Keith Williamson 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Suzy Homemaker says

    I did this for my son’s first Christmas 4 years ago (the box won by a landslide, however the second most played with object at the end of the day was the pile of wrapping paper) and was planning on doing it again for my daughter’s first Christmas this year.

  2. says

    What a great idea!! Another book my kids love is called “Christina Katerina and the Box”. Christina gets a large refrigerator box and oh the things she makes out of it! Such an imaginative story.

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