Twenty-Five Ways To Play With A Cardboard Box

In our high-tech world, it's easy to stick our kids in front of a television screen and call that "good enough". And yes, there are loads of programs that really provide educational support! I've even found a few that help my toddler practice his colors, numbers, and even letters! Sometimes I even wonder what our parents must have done to entertain us before this advent of children's television programming. (Wow, I sound like the millennial I am, don't I?)

My kid totally watches TV.

Looking back on my childhood - one free of computers, with limited television, in a rural area. That means there was no neighborhood park, no nearby museums, not even a McDonald's playplace! We made our own fun and entertained one another the "good old-fashioned way". Well...to be honest, we probably spent more time fighting over who got to pick the after-school television show. But still! That self-reliance to create our own entertainment spurred on our creativity. Of course, without constant television, we needed a few solid "toys" to play with. Enter: The Cardboard Box. It's a classic.

Anyone who has ever watched a baby or young toddler open gifts can attest - the box that the gift comes in is often the more captivating part of the whole experience. And for good reason! Cardboard boxes are ubiquitous, accessible, and a blank canvas for your child's imagination. Throw in some paint, construction paper, glue, and even scissors (with help from an adult), and you've got endless possibilities!

Maybe take the painting outside. via google.com

Build A House

Ride A Rocket

Fort Box

Nothing beats a good old classic cardboard box! via Mairtown Kindergarten

I'm 30 years old and I still love building forts with my kiddos. Recently, we used a few cardboard boxes to build a secret hideaway for our toddler. Now he asks us to crawl back into it and read books together.

Play Dress Up

Artist's Easel

DIY Spinner Game

Make you own game of Twister - or create your own game with special rules! It's easy to make a cardboard spinner out of a flat piece of cardboard, an arrow, a brad, and some markers or paint.

Tic Tac Toe

Cardboard TV

Box Tunnel

Connect multiple boxes together in a line to create a tunnel for kids to crawl through! You can add windows or transform a whole play room into a maze of tunnels!

Doll House


DIY Shape Sorter

Classic baby toy!

A craft version of the Fisher Price classic, it's easy to cut a few shapes into a cardboard box and tape together strips of cardboard to form circles, squares, and hearts, and more!

Train Engine And Cars

3D Sculptures


This one requires a bit of wax paper, but it's so gorgeous! A kid's art craft that's worthy of being put on display in your home.


Older kids can learn about the effects of gravity and other laws of physics by building a ball-drop box! Add a few ramps going in different directions, stand your box on its end, and drop a ball to see where it lands at the bottom! I've also seen people make a crafted version of Plinko this way with toothpicks and ping pong balls!

Washing Machine

Who doesn't love to do laundry? Via: Tom Green

For the little one who always wants to help around the house!

Sail Your Boat

Train Tracks

Cut long strips of cardboard and paint them. They become a set of train tracks that's easy to disassemble and carry with you. Bonus: if you lose one of the pieces, just cut some more!

Race Car Ramp

Target Practice

This one's easy! Make a classic round target shape and hand your kiddo some soft balls. Or, older kids might enjoy a nerf gun! I've seen people make boxes with multiple holes, or even decorated like the mouth of an animal gaping at them.


Don't try to bake a cake in this oven-made-from-a box!

Baby Doll Bed

This one is classic and easy. I remember putting my Barbies in shoebox beds as a little kid!

Box Guitar

Maybe they'll become a rock star! via commons.wikimedia.org

Ok, maybe calling it a guitar is a stretch! Perhaps a DIY string instrument is more accurate? Cut a hole in the side of a box and string yarn, twine, or even rubberbands over the opening. I like to wrap small boxes in rubber bands - it's a great way to encourage a love of music!




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