It is always the box. Even at an older age, my kids love the box it comes in, whatever the it is. A few weeks, maybe a month, ago we received a tabletop sorter to help straighten up the front hall table, and as Amazon often does, it was packed in a box at least three times its volume. This box is big enough for both kids to fit in comfortably, and it immediately became a favorite toy. The kids cut a few windows in and drew a few buttons inspired by the book The Nowhere Box. This has again become a favorite book at bedtime, also. The box has been an airplane, a train, a Nowhere Box, and a bed among many other things.
Being made of thin cardboard, it has also shown the wear and tear of life as a toy for a three and almost six year-old. The three year-old explored removing the tape from the box, and it became a ripped, flattened shadow of its former glory to the grief of both kids. I was ready to recycle it, but they demanded that it be repaired. Out came the extra-wide duct tape, and after some major repairs, they have the box back. I love that they play well together in this springboard for imagination. I’ll keep repairing it until there is no more cardboard left.