Thursday, March 6, 2014

March Break: Cardboard Box Treasures

March Break Cardboard Challenge, 10 am – noon on Tuesday March 11th

When I was young, an unclaimed cardboard box was a real treasures to find.  A shoe box could be magically  transformed into a house to be added to the “village”;  a tissue box was the perfect size for a Barbie couch, and if we were ever so lucky enough as to come upon an appliance box we could build a fort that would be our play place for weeks.  Sometimes it seems  to me that children today have lost that sense of imagination and creativity.  Have they really?  I don’t think so.

Take for example Caine Monroy, a nine year old  boy from East Los Angeles..  In the summer of 2011 Caine discovered a stash of cardboard boxes at his dad’s store and asked for permission to create an arcade at the front of the store.  All of the games were built and designed by Caine and he even created a ticket and prize redemption system using some of his old toys as prizes.  He spent his entire summer vacation building elaborate arcade games but he didn’t have any customers.   Because the store was in an industrial park with little foot traffic, business was very slow until one day a film maker named Nirvan Mullick walked through the door to buy a door handle.  Mullick bought a “funpass” to play the games at Caine’s arcade for $2.  He was so inspired by Caine’s arcades that he created a short video about it

The excitement for Caine’s arcade caught on very quickly as the youtube clip went viral inspiring children all over the world to build games out of cardboard.  See clip below to see how Caine’s arcade has become a global movement and the beginning of Imagination Foundation.


SPL is joining in the excitement and fun inspired by Caine’s Arcade by hosting a Cardboard Challenge from 10 am – noon on Tuesday March 11th.  We will provide the necessary supplies (cardboard boxes, tubes, tape, markers etc.) and participants need only bring their imaginations, enthusiasm and creativity.


  1. Do we need to register for this event?

    1. It is a free drop-in program so no registration is needed. Hope to see you there!