Buying your child a toy to find them just playing with the box is exactly what one primary school is hoping for.

Teachers at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, in Cockermouth, have rolled out a new imagination-inspiring initiative – using “cardboard play” instead of toys.

The project sees children designing and creating their own toys with cardboard boxes donated by parents, encouraging children to use their creativity to make their own toy.

And pupils and teachers alike are loving the idea, with some even putting together their own cardboard Halloween costume.

“It seems to be really successful, and it’s only been going on for one day,” teaching assistant Clare Childs said. “The children get so much enjoyment from it, and it’s lovely seeing their imaginations running free.

“One boy made his own cardboard robot and decided to go trick or treating in it, which is absolutely fantastic.”

As well as the Halloween robot, the pupils made a TV, cars and even a mini room, where “one pupil had a quick power nap”.

While it’s currently only Whinlatter Class – nursery, reception and Year 1 – taking part, teachers are hoping to roll the project throughout the school after its great start.

“Sometimes schools get so caught up on tests and results, and it’s easy to forget they’re just children who should be in school to have fun,” Clare said.

“There’s been so much laughter and fun with this project, and it’s amazing.”

Clare first saw the idea for “cardboard play” through a school in Bristol, which continued the initiative for one month as a trail, and she’s now hoping to team up with them and share their findings.

She said: “The children got really engaged, and seeing their creativity develop was astonishing, so I’d love to know what the other school found with their trial.”

Headteacher Andrea Worthington was also delighted with the children’s reaction to the project, and said: “The children were really excited, and it was great to see them using their imaginations and making so many different things.

“It’s really sparked something in them, and we can see their speech and language developing with the project, which is brilliant.”