Especially if you have small children, cardboard and cardboard boxes are a lifesaver when it comes to crafting. Your kids can spend endless hours cutting, pasting, and drawing on cardboard. Their imaginations will also help them turn a plain old cardboard box into just about anything they please!
Check out these 15 cardboard crafts that you can make with your kids, and that will keep them busy for hours afterwards too.
1. Paper roll bracelets
If you’ve been saving empty toilet paper rolls for just this kind of crafting project then you’re already most of the way there! Grab scissors, paint, markers, glitter, glue, gems, or anything else your kids feel like using. Cut all the way down the roll and then cut them into horizontal sections to look like thick bangles. All that’s left to do is decorate, just like Learn Create Love did!
2. Cardboard knight
These clean edges are best cut with an Exacto knife, so that’s something you’ll have to do away from the kids. Once you’ve followed Play and Grow‘s lead by cutting out each of the layered pieces and attaching them, your kids will be ready to save the village from the fire breathing dragon!
3. Cardboard box airplane
Bloglovin’ shows you how to create this simply adorable airplane complete with a propeller! Draw the details on, like the strips on the wings in this picture, or hand the markers to your kids and let them deck their own plane out however they please.
4. Cozy cove
Autism Classroom Resources guides you through the process of creating a comfy, cozy space for kids to curl up in when they’re feeling overwhelmed or need some down time. The best part? It’s made of a simple cardboard box! Whether you’re a teacher using it in a classroom like this website does or a parent who wants to give their kid a quiet corner for reading, they’ll feel warm and safe there.
5. Cardboard oven and stove
shows you how to make a simple kids’ oven and stove toy out of a cardboard box in just a few simple steps. Help your kids draw the burners and switches on and ask them to make you an imaginary cake!
6. Cardboard box Noah’s arc
This kids’ project from The Craft Train serves both as a toy and a place to store stuffed toys so that they’re not scattered all over your floor tripping you. Try making the sails out of spare material or wrapping paper.
7. Camper van playhouse
Have you moved recently and now you have an excess of giant boxes waiting to be taken out for recycling? Instead, try recycling them into an awesome place for your kids to play and hang out! The Merry Thought chose to make theirs a camper van for imaginary road trips and adventures.
8. Cardboard handbag
iKat Bag shows you how to create a handbag fit for any stylish toddler! Hand your kid the glitter and some markers and let her express herself!
9. Cardboard kitty house
Don’t forget about your furry kids! Cats love cardboard boxes even more than your actual kids do , so follow Bloglovin’s lead and turn a cardboard box into a cozy cat home rather than garbage.
10. Cardboard washing machine
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If you already made your kids an oven and stove, then the logical next step is to make them a washer and dryer too! “Playing House” will mean something way more fun in your home than it will at their friends’ places, all thanks to a bit of cardboard creativity. Crafster shows you how this cute little washing machine is done.
11. Cardboard dryer
What kind of home has a washer and not a dryer? Not your kids’ imaginary home thanks to your DIY skills! Estefie Machado shows you how to made this cute front loading dryer to go with the washing machine above.
12. A grocery store
Giant wardrobe boxes are some of the most versatile cardboard options to work with just based on their sheer size. Check out how iKat Bag made not just a a little fruit stand, but an entire grocery storefront from cardboard!
13. A gas pump
Declutter, Organize, Repurpose takes cardboard crafting a little further with this toy gas station pump. Instead of sticking to just cardboard, they added a plastic host and the top of a squirt bottle to serve as the gas pump! We love the creativity here and so will your kids.
14. A Lego town
If you’re a little too busy for things like exact replica washing machines and dryers but your kids still want to play in boxes, then let them do just that! Picklebums recommends grabbing the biggest box you can find and filling it with pencil crayons and markers. Let the kids climb in and encourage them to colour on the cardboard floor and walls to their little hearts’ content!
15. A giant back yard maze
has the perfect fun solution for all those moving boxes you don’t feel like breaking down and recycling. If you have to take them apart anyways, use that time to transform them into a big maze in the backyard! Short doors let your kids crawl form box to box until they find their way out. Just made sure to cut tall boxes short enough that you can lift them out if they get lost!
Have you made other awesome cardboard kids’ crafts that you don’t see here? Tell us about how you did it in the comments below!