‘What Can You Do With a Cardboard Box..?” Lots!

Emma Hutton Stands Behind Her Friend Aela Paterno Today

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,511)

“I love this so much,” said Aela Paterno, 2, this afternoon on the Eastern Promenade.  “I see a castle connected to a space ship, a bakery and a snowman,” said her mother Jill Dalton.  “In other words, it’s a mixed use development!”

Aela and her young friends were making all manner of buildings and things from cardboard boxes and other recycled items.  One of her friends was Emma  Hutton, 7, who said:   “I liked making the shingles on the roof and the window shades for the cafe.”  It was part of a special program hosted by the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, Portland today.  The event ran from noon until 6 pm.

The event was the brainchild of Louisa Donelson, education coordinator, for the Museum.  She wrote a grant and received sufficient funds to host this event as well as a similar one at Kennedy Park last month.  Looking at the overcast skies this afternoon, Donelson said:  “Even if it rains we were okay because we were making shelters.”  The large cardboard boxes came from stores in the area and the objects came from Ruth’s Reusable Resources, Portland.  At the end of the day Eco-Maine, a non-profit recycling program would collect the items as part of its program.  Donelson estimated that about one hundred people attended the free and public event on Munjoy Hill’s Eastern Promenade.

Leo Maheau, an environmental educator with Eco-Maine, said the materials will be recycled and sent to customers around the world.  Glass goes to a customer in Biddeford for use in making counter tops.  Some goes to India and China according to Maheau.  “Kids can be as creative and unbridled as they want to be here and learn what they can do with things like cardboard boxes.  They can be castles and a fort or a free range drive through,” he said pointing to one of the creations.  From Berkeley, California he said:  “It’s nice living in a city that respects forward thinking.”

editor’s note:  Top photo is of Emma Hutton with Louisa Donelson, of Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.

For more information on the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, please visit www.kitetails.org