As I did my usual sweep through the house tonight filling up my arms and dropping things off at their determined destinations about the domicile, I counted 4 cardboard box projects. My house is not large.
A 7-Up Robot that has gone the way of 3PO once Anakin gets a ride with Padme, sits with it's bright green colored shiny cardboard coating, waiting to be finished. On the ottoman perches a newly carved "pretend" rabbit cage, complete with fake food and droppings- a practice set to prove she can take care of a bunny. On top of the book shelf precariously balanced rests a Fairy House made with lots of glittery glue and scraps of fabric, ribbon... and a little pixie dust! Finally, my favorite- pulled out just before slumber from the evening of play in their room are two diaper boxes with large stuffed animals - a dog on one, a bear on the other- lashed to them to create ridable pets.
Last week I pulled out all the plastic parts and pieces- Pet Shop, Barbie, and Polly Pocket, alike. I sorted them into bins and packed them away in the garage. I announced ceremoniously that these toys could be played with but would be checked out and returned to their bin immediately after playing had ceased. This has worked quite well surprising us all in the process. They have only pulled each bin out once- and have been engaged in drawing, coloring, cooking and creating cardboard critters quite busily all week long.
Tonight I finally cleared the rest of the clutter from the dining table (yet again). We ate dinner together as a family. It is clean and awaiting our best laid plans for tomorrow.
All is well.