What’s in a cardboard box? 12 new play ideas for kids

With a few clicks you can get just about anything delivered to your home. It’s (scary) simple, shockingly fast, and all too familiar during the holiday season. Boxes of all shapes and sizes show up on doorsteps and create cardboard congestion in recycling bins. The environmental impact of online shopping is real and rising, which is why these forgotten shipment shells deserve a second chance.

Not to mention that kids often find the most fun in an empty box of possibilities!

Check out these 12 ways to “unbox” play during the holiday season:

  1. Indoor forts. Stuck inside on a blustery day? Use empty boxes and cardboard tubing to create a custom castle or fort. Add blankets and pillows for extra comfort and fun.
  2. D.I.Y. wagon. Kids can push, pull and slide around in makeshift cardboard wagons. When it’s time for a rest, see #3.
  3. Drive-in. Grab some healthy snacks and pull up to the “drive-in” with a cardboard box car. If resources and space allows, project the movie in an outdoor space and enjoy under the stars.
  4. Puppet theatre. A big box makes the perfect stage for puppets. Use toys and dolls from around the house, or make your own, and put on a show!
  5. Robot dress-up. Boxes of all shapes and sizes can be fit to make a robot costume. Tip: use empty tissue boxes for robot shoes and cardboard tubing (cut length ways) for arms.
  6. Cardboard sports. Hockey net, basketball hoop, skeeball ramp, mini putt target, bowling pins, etc. Cardboard can be an easy indoor solution for sports and activities.
  7. Tunnel time. Cut out the tops and bottoms from different sized boxes and make tunnels for crawling. Tip: tape them together for a homemade maze.
  8. Construction site. Kid-friendly cardboard construction tools make it easy to create and play.
  9. Colouring cave. Jump inside an extra-large box for a four-walled colouring canvas.
  10. Balloon baton. Discarded gift wrap tubing is an indoor alternative to a bat or racquet and perfect for balloon batting and balloon tennis.
  11. Cardboardville. Flattened cardboard can be the foundation for a new town or city with roads mapped from edge to edge.
  12. Pretend play. Cardboard can transform into almost anything… food truck, rocket ship, kitchen, train, time machine… an empty box is full of possibilities.

Do you have other suggestions about what to do with cardboard boxes? Leave us a comment below to share your ideas.

One response to “What’s in a cardboard box? 12 new play ideas for kids

  1. Totally awesome ideas for cardboard toys. Alone it could be a fun toy for my kiddos, it is time to make some arts out of them as well.

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