For the Love of Cardboard

Rupert, a DIY octopus cardboard puppet / mobile by Gommini

Yes, I love toys. Toys that are well-designed, stim­u­lat­ing, aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing and kind to the envi­ron­ment. I could (and do!) spend hours look­ing for vin­tage and mod­ern toys for my own chil­dren or to share. I also know that my kids would be just as happy mak­ing some­thing out of an empty card­board box. They love the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing some­thing of their own.

Sev­eral of my favorite up-and-coming Euro­pean toy­mak­ers work with card­board or paper (Mil­imbo, Trzy Myszy, Unlim­ited Design, to name but a few). I love the ver­sa­til­ity and seem­ingly end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties of this medium and the fact that many of the toys can be made in part by chil­dren. In my expe­ri­ence, even if it’s “only” made of paper or card­board, proud kids will take good care of and cher­ish some­thing they have helped put together or paint and dec­o­rate themselves.

DIY Cardboard Puppet Mobiles

DIY Card­board Pup­pet Mobiles
avail­able for $20 from gom­mini

Have you heard? Rupert the jump­ing card­board octo­pus (pic­tured at the top of this post) is about to make a new friend, Alber­tine the frog. We don’t know what color he will be yet, that all depends on the cre­ative flair of the lit­tle artist that adopts him. I’m sure kids love mak­ing, dec­o­rat­ing and play­ing with these orig­i­nal mobiles/puppets by Gom­mini, so I’m delighted to see they’re expand­ing their orig­i­nal range. Easy-to-assemble, Rupert and Alber­tine are fun eco-toys that would also look great on dis­play. Love!

A card that folds into a toy cargo ship by Foldable Cuts - cool! Card that folds into a toy boat by Foldable Cuts

DIY Fold­able Toy Boat Cards
avail­able for $8 each from fold­able cuts (via dezeen)

I have a thing for boats. Usu­ally I fall for expen­sive vin­tage toy ships, so find­ing these cut-and-make boats by Fold­able Cuts made my day! This col­lec­tion of five DIY boat-themed cards looks fairly straight­for­ward to assem­ble and would make an unique gift for a water and craft lov­ing child. The mul­ti­col­ored cargo ship is strik­ing, don’t you think?

cardboard chair for kids by fdk DIY Cardboard Castle

Card­board Chair for Kids & DIY Card­board Cas­tle
avail­able for $115 (chair) and $26 (cas­tle) from fdk

Rel­a­tively new on the scene, Fdk spe­cial­izes in eco-friendly toys and kids’ décor made out of card­board. Their prod­ucts are delib­er­ately sim­ple, in white or nat­ural, and have been designed to encour­age col­lab­o­ra­tive play. I par­tic­u­larly love their card­board ver­sions of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, shown above, and the sturdy chair, which chil­dren can also dec­o­rate once assem­bled. Fdk’s prod­ucts are avail­able through their own web­site and the new Span­ish Dawanda, in addi­tion to numer­ous retail­ers in Barcelona. One to watch!