New Cities



“Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.”
― Italo CalvinoInvisible Cities

A weekend trip to Ikea led to many cardboard boxes in our backyard. The boxes were the key to drawing Sam away from his two current obsessions, Survivalcraft and Minecraft. At first he didn’t even feel like going outside, but there was a very tall skinny box that became a transporter, and he was hooked. Building Minecraft cities from the boxes was his idea. He began with confidence, sure that he and I could make buildings that looked exactly like his on-line Minecraft constructions.

Sam realized pretty quickly that we couldn’t create an exact match with our materials. He railed about that for a while, and then shifted gears, to create something new. The process took a lot of negotiation, patience, and packing tape. He was proud of his city buildings, even though they look nothing like Minecraft block buildings. It was bedtime, and he bargained to stay outside just a little longer, to put on the finishing touch – a “balancing side patio” for Isabel’s dolls.

I hope the city will last a few days, before the real patio is reclaimed. I love observing the process, and the interplay between the low tech cardboard and his virtual world on the iPad. For more cardboard box inspiration, check out Caine’s Arcade and Caine’s Arcade 2. We’re thinking about hosting a Cardboard Challenge on October 5. Who wants to join us? 


One thought on “New Cities

  1. I saw Caine’s Arcade first video last year–This is the first time I’ve seen the update–How awesome!! We’re in for the Cardboard Challenge. I will invite my friends, too.

    Thanks for sharing this, Elise– a great cause — and something that is always on my mind — encouraging and supporting children’s ideas, creativity, & imagination. So excited about this!

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