Category Archives: Box Play for Kids

Back-To-School Bash

It’s back-to-school season and we’re kicking off this academic year with a little celebration. We picked up some fresh school supplies, some new books, and some healthy red apples to gear up for class. But what’s a party without favors and what’s a back-to-school bash without some educational fun? Just have the kiddos bring a clean empty milk carton from home, stick-on our appropriately-themed, BPFK school bus stickers, and let the good times roll. You can even squeeze in a quick lesson about the importance of recycling.

All of our stickers are printed on 100% recycled, uncoated paper so don’t be afraid to let your little pupils customize their new toys with markers or crayons. Another idea: Help your kiddo write his name neatly and this yellow bus becomes the perfect desk name tag.

D is for Dylan


Greek Island Hopping with Ollie the Octopus

As a newbie to the Box Play for Kids team, I wanted to come out and introduce myself. I’m Tracy and I dabble in a little bit of marketing, sales, and even creative for this awesome brand. Although I don’t have kids, I’m a seasoned babysitter with a background in graphic design so I can definitely appreciate innovative and creative ways ways to keep little ones occupied. I just got back from a trip to Greece and I couldn’t resist the urge to bring Box Play for Kids along for the ride and share my experience.

It’s hard to believe that exactly two weeks ago, Ollie the Octopus and I were chilling out on one of the most amazing beaches (let alone one of the most amazing places) I’ve ever been – Livadaki Beach on the Greek island of Folegandros {pictured below}. As a present to myself for getting into grad school, I treated myself to a 10-day summer adventure with a friend in the Greek Islands. Despite wanting to see the hundreds of little Greek islands that exist, my friend and I did our best to narrow down our selection to three: Mykonos for its infamous nightlife, Santorini for its picturesque blue domed roofs, and Folegandros because no one has ever heard of it. While we enjoyed the natural beauty and idiosyncrasies of each island we visited, Folegandros was, hands down, our absolute favorite! Picture this: the island has one paved road, one taxi, one bus, and about 700 locals. Let’s just say the bus schedule is handwritten in chalk. 

The scenery was incredible on every island so I’m so glad I had this little octopus friend with me for some impromptu photo shoots. As with all the Box Play for Kids stickers, Ollie the Octopus is lightweight, portable, and makes the perfect travel companion.


White cubic architecture with blue accents is everywhere in Mykonos. This is the view from our hotel.



This isolated paradise, better known as Livadaki beach, is only accessible by boat.



Santorini is known for its various colored sand beaches – red, white, and black. The black sand on this beach really compliments Ollie’s skin tone if you ask me.




At Box Play for Kids we are all about reusing, recycling, and repurposing which is why we love thinking about new ways to use our products. We hope this DIY octo-mobile (using our octopus sticker) will add a pop to your nursery and bring smiles to your baby.

Supplies: a few small branches, spray paint {go with a non-toxic latex or water-based option, especially for a nursery}, 6 toilet paper rolls, 6 BPFK octopus stickers, ribbon, clear twine, scissors, and an exacto knife.octomobile_1_new



Step one: spray paint the branches. You may need to do several coats. Let dry in between coats and rotate as needed.



Step two: Apply the octopus stickers to the toilet paper rolls while the branches are drying. Cut along the dotted lines to create tentacles.



Step three: Using an exacto knife, carefully puncture two small holes on opposite ends of each octopus’ head. 



Step four: Cut the clear twine into six, 12-inch pieces. Thread a piece of twine through the two holes on each octopus and tie a small knot to secure. Leave a long tail of twine for attaching to the branches.



Step five: Once the branches are dry to the touch, arrange them like spokes on a wheel. Don’t worry if the spacing between each branch is uneven. Weave ribbon around the center axis to secure placement. Leave a long loop of ribbon for attaching to the ceiling.



Step six: Attach the octopuses to the branches using the clear twine tails. Arrange the octopuses at different heights and locations along the branches until the mobile is balanced. Hang and enjoy! Note: Be sure your mobile is carefully and tightly secured (far from reaching distance) above the baby’s crib, as branches may be sharp. 


For Immediate Release

Curious about our eco-friendly stickers? Check out our latest press release. For media inquiries, don’t hesitate to contact Barbie Davalos: Grand Avenue PR + Marketing, 818-760-5177 (office), 


(PHOENIX, AZ) – Inspired by their 2-year-old daughter’s love of stickers and penchant for playing with old boxes rather than the many store bought toys, Phoenix residents Janette and Greg Harwell had an “aha” moment that lead to the creation of Box Play for Kids.  Janette, a long-time graphic and package designer, started designing stickers that when applied to throwaway household boxes turns them into fun toys encouraging imaginative play and learning in children.

“Kids have such great imaginations,” said Janette Harwell, founder of Box Play for Kids. “With our stickers, we see children’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm come out as they play.”

Box Play for Kids gives kids 36 designer stickers to choose from for repurposing the following boxes into toys.

  • Cereal Box Stickers: “ABC Eye Chart,” “Bento Box”,“Record Player” and “Red Barn.”  Retail: $5 each.
  • Mac ‘n’ Cheese Box Stickers: “Camera,” “Tractor,” and “Clutch Purse.”  Retail: $5 each.
  • Shoe Box Stickers: “Turtle” and “Refrigerator.”  Retail: $7 each
  • Tissue Box Stickers: “Whale” and “Lucky Kitty.”  Retail: $5 each.
  • Egg Carton Stickers: “Piano,” “Paint Palette” (available in English, Spanish and French) “Caterpillar” and “Car Garage” and “Zookeeper.”  Retail: $5 each.
  • Milk Carton Stickers: “Fire Truck,” “Piggy,” “Cow,” “School Bus,” “Blue Train” and “Pink House.”  Retail: $7 each.
  • Paper Towel Tube Stickers “Puppy Dog,” “Giraffe,” “Baseball Bat” and “Horn.”  Retail: $5 each. “Bowling Pins” (set of 3). Retail $7
  • Toilet Paper Tube Stickers: “Rocket Ship,” “Shark,” “Octopus,” “Football,” “Pink Superstar Bracelets,” “Green Superstar Bracelets,”  “Pink Camo Binoculors” (pair) and “Green Camo Binoculors” (pair).  Retail: $3 each.
  • Collections: Asian Collection (“Bento Box” and “Lucky Kitty”), $9; Buildings, $7; Animal Collection (“Cow”, “Caterpillar” and “Puppy Dog”), $14; Transport Collection (“Fire Truck,” “Tractor,” and “Rocket Ship”), $12; and Sea Life Collection (“Turtle,” “Shark,” and “Whale”), $12
  • Party Packs (sets of 10): “Rocket Ship,” and “Shark.” Retail: $20. “Camera,” “Piano” and “Paint Palette.” Retail: $35 “ Fire Truck” Retail $45.
  • Seasonal Stickers: Downloadable themed sticker each season.  Free.

Eco-conscious and naturally detailed about design, the Harwell’s print Box Play for Kids stickers with 100% recycled uncoated paper with the intention of allowing little ones to add their own personal flair.

Box Play for Kids is a privately owned company based in Phoenix, Arizona.  The company’s one-of-a-kind, patent pending product line is proudly made in the USA and is available on as well as in select kid’s boutiques, museums, toy stores, grocery stores and online retailers.  Stickers retail for $3 and $7 for individual stickers, $7-14 for themed collections and $20-45 for party packs.  Founder Janette Harwell is a professional graphic designer and art director.  When she is not busy working on breakthrough campaigns and award-winning identities and package design for her clients at Stir Design and Advertising (, she’s “playing” with Box Play for Kids.



Summer Adventure on the Yucatán Peninsula

We just returned from a fun trip with our little one in tow. We were accompanied by dear friends, two of whom celebrated their 10-year anniversary by renewing their vows on the beach. The nice thing about this vacation was there were five other little girls for Chloe to play with. They kept each other entertained which meant there was very little whining—and that equaled more fun and relaxation for mom and dad! We brought along little Sharky for a simple DIY craft project after a day of fun in the sun. The stickers are great for traveling because they’re flat and take up virtually no room. And you’re guaranteed toilet paper rolls anywhere you go in the world, right? Just peel, stick and romp. ¡Viva Mexico!BPFK_Shark_Tulum_1



The Cure for Rainy Day Blues

We just discovered this super cool digital lifestyle magazine, Mini – For The Modern Parent. Thank you for featuring our Piano, Turtle and Octopus kids stickers in your Spring 2013 “Style Spot” section. Rainy Day Blues? “Being stuck inside doesn’t have to be a drag. These rainy day activities will perk you up in no time. Just remember – April showers do bring May flowers.” You can view their current issue as well as archived issues here.

Spring Mini Magazine 2013


DIY Finger Paint and Palette

Well…summer is finally here which means you are probably looking for fun ways to keep your kids occupied. What little one doesn’t love to get her hands messy with some finger paint? Using simple ingredients from around the kitchen you can whip up an assortment of kid-safe (even edible) colors. Recycle an egg carton and stick our paint palette sticker to the outside (or even to the inside) of an egg carton and you have the perfect storage container for your homemade paints.

Supplies:  3 tbs sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 2 cup water, food coloring, an egg carton {be sure it’s clean and dry}, and a Box Play for Kids paint palette sticker in the language of your choice – English, Spanish, or French.



Step 1: Combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Warm while whisking, until the mixture thickens. You may need to add more water or cornstarch to create a paste-like consistency.

diy.paint_2 diy.paint_3


Step 2: Once the mixture cools, spoon into the wells of the egg carton.


Step 3: Add drops of food coloring to each well and stir to create desired shades.


Ta-da! A complete set of colorful finger

In the spirit of our multilingual paint palettes, we even drew up some multilingual

Happy painting!!


Give Yourself Flowers This Mother’s Day

Here’s an eggceptional Mother’s Day activity courtesy of our very talented friend and paper artist, Kira Naylor. This one takes a little time but you end up with a beautiful bouquet that lasts a heck of a lot longer than the real thing. (Attention husband: This doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for a gift.)

Supplies needed: Recycled egg carton, scissors, green construction paper, watercolor paint, paint brush, florist tape, florist wire, glue, green and purple tissue paper, yellow raffia and a toilet paper roll. (Phew… that’s a lot of stuff.)


Step 1: Begin by cutting the tips of the egg carton first. These will become the bluebell and center portion of the daffodils. Cut out all 12 egg cups.


Step 2: Make 4 daisies by cutting several long skinny petals from the top of an egg cup to the base. Make 2 roses by cutting shorter wavy curves along the tops of 4 egg cups. And, finally, make 2 daffodils by also cutting wavy curves along the tops of 2 egg cups and inset 2 egg tips.


Step 3: Paint cups – pink roses, yellow daffodils, purple bluebell and white and yellow daisies (or whatever colors you love). While the painted rose cups are still wet and pliable, scrunch inside petals in and bend outer petals out so they begin to take on the natural shape of a rose. Allow all the painted cups to dry completely before assembling and gluing.


Step 4: Prep leaves and stems. Cut leaf shapes with a stem on them. Make them all slightly a different size. Hold stem of the leaf and wrap around a piece of florist wire with florist tape about 1/3 down the wire.IMG_4800

Step 5: Glue the rose, daffodil and bluebell petals together.


Step 6: At the very top of the flower stems, create a “swirl-shape” for the flowers to sit on. Glue flowers to stems. We recommend using a glue gun if you have one. We found out the hard way that regular glue takes a super long time to set and can not hold the weight of the flower cups.


Step 7: Cut green tissue paper into long leaf shapes.
(Optional: Cut purple tissue into small 1″ x 2″ rectangles. Twist and shape to create the tendrils for the bluebell. Cut raffia into 3″ strips. Open flat and twist into bow and close in half to make “pod shape” for daffodils.)


Step 8: Arrange bouquet and enjoy all year round. Happy Mother’s Day!!!
(Optional: Decorate and personalize a toilet paper roll as a bouquet holder.)


Kira has an Etsy store if you’d like to check out more of her amazing work.

We Turned a Cardboard Box into “The Greatest Show on Earth Day”

Our friends over at threadUP, an online consignment store offering super cute, high-qulaity kids clothing, challenged us, along with some of their other favorite DIY and Green bloggers, to create our best craft using recycling their polka dot threadUP box. Each day this week, they have been featuring one DIY box craft.

Tomorrow Friday, April 26th, you can vote for our super cute your favorite craft. Not only will your vote help us at a chance to win a $200 gift card AND an exclusive threadUP discount to share with our readers, BUT ALSO threadUP will be giving away (2) $25 threadUP gift cards to two random voters!

So here’s what we came up with…a cardboard box turned into a puppet show. We even found a way to recycle our pink refrigerator sticker set to make the curtains!

threadUP box challenge

Want to make this at home? Get our step-by-step instructions and learn more about challenge on threadUP’s blog. And be sure to follow us on Facebook for details on how to vote.

Eco-friendly Art Supplies for Your Little Artist

I love doing crafts with my little one but I’m always on the lookout for art supplies that I know are safe for me, for my child, and for the environment. Believe it or not, there are a myriad of natural, non-toxic, and planet-friendly alternatives to the chemical-laden markers, paints, and glues we often find on the shelves. Here’s a list of our favorite eco-friendly finds for your little budding artist.

1. Clementine Art: Natural Modeling Dough



Clementine Art carries an array of natural and green art supplies for kids – from washable paint colored with Mayan mineral earth pigments to soy crayon rocks, but we love the scented modeling dough. Colored with turmeric, carmine and spinach, the dough comes in fresh flavors like strawberry, lemon, and lime. And moms can rest assured that their little ones are playing safe; Clementine products are certified non-toxic, free of synthetic preservatives, animal byproducts or petroleum bases (just in case your little one decides to sneak a nibble).

2. Eco-finger paint



What kid doesn’t like to get her hands dirty? And what mom doesn’t like the sound of all natural ingredients? We’re liking this powder based finger paint from eco-kids, another great line of eco-friendly art supplies for kids. Ingredients include flour, annatto seed, carrots, spinach, earth clay, red grapeseed, purple sweet potato, gardenia, red cabbage and cornstarch – almost sounds more like a salad than paint! Eco-kids also carries other essential art supplies like eco-glue, eco-crayons, and eco-dough. Not only are we big fans of this brand, but we became friends with the owners of this super nice, family owned business at the NY International Gift Fair!

3. Coccoina Glue



Whether you’re doing paper crafts, school projects, or scrapbooking, glue sticks are a staple for all sorts of kid’s crafts. We’re digging this Italian-made variety called Coccoina. Made from potato starch, these glue sticks are gluten free, non-toxic, non-solvent, and acid free. Not to mention, they smell like yummy almond marzipan.

4. Fortune Cookie Crayons



And now for the cutest, planet-friendly crayons EVER – check out these adorable fortune cookie crayons from Ivy Lane Design. This Etsy shop owner and mother of two really knows how to upcycle. Her crayons are hand poured and made from broken bits and pieces left over at the end of each school year. She travels around to elementary schools and collects bags and boxes full of old crayons that would otherwise go in the trash. Check out her Etsy shop for other fun crayon shapes.

5. Paper plates and toilet paper rolls



Some of the best craft supplies are the ones that we already have laying around the house. If you have paper plates, toilet paper rolls, (and just a little bit of imagination) you will never run out of things to make with your kids. Turn a paper plate into a bird nest or a tambourine. Make racecars or binoculars out of toilet paper rolls. The possibilities are endless. Looking for an easy way to turn nothing into something? That’s what we’re all about at Box Play for Kids. Check out our website for custom-designed children’s stickers that (combined with a little imagination) turn toilet paper rolls into rocket ships, egg cartons into pianos, cardboard boxes into cameras, and much more!!