It’s the season for cardboard at your doorstep and breaking down boxes. But before you toss that Amazon box, you can repurpose it and offer it to our kids at home. Why? Because we all know that kids prefer the box and the bubble wrap over what was inside 89% of the time. You’ve come to the right place. You’ve got the boxes, and I’ve got the cardboard crafts for kids. – It’s truly a winning combination that I am here for.
Grab the boxes! We’ve got some terrific ideas for these boxes before they get recycled.
RELATED: Preschool activities should be low-prep and fun. I made this list to compile our favorites in one place.
RELATED: Cardboard and paper tube activities make a fun combination.
What can you make with cardboard for kids?
- ABC cardboard bingo
- Box tree craft
- Cardboard name build
- Coin bank
- DIY cardboard game
- DIY box track
- Drive and drop
- Easy art painting canvas
- Giant Tic-Tac-Toe
- Jingle bell drop STEM project
- Jumbo movement dice
- Make a robot costume
- Outdoor chalk game with cardboard dice
- Pick a color toddler game
- Shaving cream box cake
- Tissue paper art
- Wash the socks activity
- Weaving craft for kids
You know this list will be a little more out of the box (no pun intended). Let’s move beyond Pinterest and get more creative with this list of things to make out of cardboard. Who wants to follow 17-step directions when you can hand over a box and let a child create of their own free will? These preschool activities will not disappoint.
Activities on Demand
Want great ideas without the ads? Download these 20 hands-on learning games for kids.
15 cardboard crafts for kids
Go directly to your recycle bin and gather the cardboard boxes you didn’t break down. (see that? I knew there was a reason I just tossed it.) These are fun things you can do with a box that you may have never thought about before coming to this corner of the web. When you are finished, you may find these ways to recycle cardboard useful.
This cardboard art project is one of my favorites! First, we gathered boxes and cut out a hole for the arms and head. Next, we covered the box in duct tape and random objects found in our garage: a fun holiday project or one for a long week at home.
Sticky nature hunts are fun for all seasons because the collection will look different each time! Use a sturdy piece of cardboard wrapped in sticky paper to head outdoors and make cardboard art that looks beautiful.
Gather the boxes and a plant to determine what living things need to grow. This is a fun Science experiment for preschoolers and older.
4. ABC Bingo
I have a soft spot for alphabet bingo. A soft spot for alphabet bingo? That sounds a little silly. But it is true.
It was helpful for my oldest to practice letter sounds. Helpful for my preschooler to recognize letter symbols. And helpful for my toddler to see the lines and curves that make up letters. Use the cardboard tissue box as a container to find letters to match on the paper.
5. Box Tree Art
When I saw this cardboard box Christmas tree, I just knew we had to run to our recycle bin and get started immediately. This is cardboard crafting at the highest level!
Gather the boxes, kids. There is just no time to waste on this easy art project!
It was quick. It was easy to make. And it inspired the imaginary play that we all craved.
Recycled cardboard and some paints are all it took to get this simple Easter art project started, and a quiet hum going in the kitchen. Easter or any occasion, cardboard makes a terrific canvas!
13. Jingle Bell Drop
I want my boys to learn while they play – because isn’t that the best type of learning? When you don’t even know you’re doing it?! Jingle Bell Drop is a fun STEM Christmas activity for kids!
14. Movement Cube
Movement cube for my active preschoolers? Tell me more!
I can assure you that one thing preschoolers (and moms) need to do is MOVE. – and this is exactly what this movement cube encourages. Bring it on!
Since my oldest began Kindergarten, it has been a strong reminder that the older kids have less time to play. Shaving cream sensory play is certainly not happening at school, so I am here to make it happen at home. And if shaving cream is your jam, check out shaving cream car tracks.
18. Tissue Paper Art
I initially thought this tissue paper pumpkin art would be a hit with my three-year-old. The unexpected was that he dipped out, and my five-year-old and almost seven-year-old swooped right in!
Wash the Socks was the exact fine motor activity for toddlers I was looking for.
20. Weaving for Kids
This rainbow paper weaving was fun for my toddler, preschooler, and kindergartener.
They each had a slightly different cardboard loom to fit their needs. Not only did each boy enjoy this activity, but it was the quietest my house had been all day. – And on a rainy day stuck inside, I am here for that 100%.
Need a quick and easy summer craft? Me too! That’s why I ran to get out one of my favorite summer holiday books – The Watermelon Seed!
This treasured preschool book combines well with a simple painting art craft to help retell the story. I can’t wait to share this watermelon seed activity with you!
We adore these box activities that we have played over the years! Which idea will you dive into first before the box hits the recycling truck?
1. ABC bingo 2. Box tree 3. Cardboard name builds 4. Coin Bank 5.DIY cardboard game 6.DIY Track 7. Drive and drop cardboard road box 8. Easy painting activity 9. Giant Tic-Tac-Toe 10. Jingle bell cardboard box drop 11. Jumbo movement dice 12. Make a robot costume 13. Movement cube 14. Outdoor chalk game with cardboard dice 15. Pick a color 16. Shaving cream box cake 17. Tissue paper art 18. Wash the socks 19. Weaving with cardboard for kids
Hands down, Drive and Drop is an absolute favorite for toddlers. This box with a hole in it will entertain your toddler for you to unload the dishwasher and prep dinner.
This is a great box book list from my friend Jodi in her Growing Book by Book blog. My favorite from this list is Not a Box – a must-read!