Different ways to let kids entertain themselves this summer with these great cardboard ideas for kids.
Are you looking for easy and fun ideas to keep your kids entertained that don't involve them spending hours on screen time? Cardboard is an incredibly versatile material that can be used to get your kids outside, express a little imagination, and have fun.
From DIY dollhouses to indoor golf courses, you'll have 20 unique cardboard box ideas to keep your kids occupied and engaged. Plus, these activities are budget-friendly – all you need is a few empty cardboard boxes and some of these great ideas. So let's get started and see how you can use cardboard to create a world of adventure and imaginative play.
Top Cardboard Ideas for Kids
If you are like me you just might have a plethora of Amazon boxes around the house or in the recycling bin. Don't have any? Check with your neighbors or even local businesses that may not mind departing with an old cardboard box or two.
Whether you are enduring a rainy day or avoiding the dreaded boredom complaint of summer, I put together an awesome list of things that you can do with cardboard that are for kids of all ages. So gather up those boxes and craft supplies lying around the house and get ready for hours of play and entertainment.
Cardboard Doll Houses for Boys and Girls
Every little girl in your life will love to create a dollhouse with cardboard. Once the main structure is built, you can even add some design elements by accenting the walls with extra wrapping paper or scrapbook paper around your house. None of those lying around? Try leftover peel and stick wallpaper or even tissue paper.
This is one of the best ideas for using fine motor skills with little hands. And an easy activity like this will keep your kids busy for hours. Not only building and creating it, but playing with it too.
A cardboard house like this one can also be taken apart for easy storage. After all, it is five small boxes put together.
If you need something for the boys that doesn't involve dolls or barbies, this option is so much fun. Make a fort or house for your small toys, like Legos. Use smaller pieces of cardboard to create additions for your toys like a cardboard box car or cardboard slide attached to the house.
Build a Cardboard Fort
I love this idea! Instead of a standard fort, why not build a cardboard box castle? You can get super creative here with using tons of boxes, paint, tape, etc. And definitely make your fort more comfortable with some additional pillows and blankets.
If you have a large open space, turn those cardboard boxes into a fun maze for the kids to crawl through! You could even add obstacles they need to pass through like hanging streamers or putting blown-up balloons inside.
Work on your creative play by making a pirate ship or cardboard boat. This is bound to get a few hours of play time and you can change up the design to fit your needs. For example, you can also make your design into a cardboard airplane or cardboard space shuttle.
If your fort is too dark you can always add a lamp or cut a window. Another great option for letting in more light is to make a fort with Christmas lights poking through the top of the cardboard. So much more fun than a typical box fort. Young kids and toddlers will especially love the little lights shining through!
If you're looking for something with a bit more longevity, build a cardboard play dome like this one. This is the perfect place to have a movie night with friends too!
Cardboard Games with Boxes
The Craft Train had a great idea to make a giant dice that you can use for games you love. Kids love anything when it becomes giant size! Make a few more and use them to play Yahtzee or Farkle as a lawn game.
Use that box to make a marble run! This is super fun to make a game of and get a little competitive.
Create a Puppet Show
Create a puppet theater and have your kiddos put on their very own show for you. Not only is this theatre fun to make, but you can also try making sock puppets to use.
If you are feeling a little more creative, how about a shadow puppet theatre box! This requires a few more supplies, but hopefully things you already have around the house. The best part of this is that you can always get creative and find other items that will work too.
Create a Costume with Cardboard Ideas for Kids
Large boxes are awesome for pretend play and making costumes. Help your kids to create a cardboard car like this one! You can also use toilet paper rolls, googly eyes and pipe cleaners to add to your cardboard costume. See more ideas for family costumes here.
You can get really creative and make costumes like a dragon or robot. So many more ideas here!
Cardboard Ideas for Kids Activities
Making a musical instrument like a cardboard guitar is a classic, but a good one to pass the time. Plus, the music isn't obnoxious which makes these instruments especially appealing to parents.
Create an awesome learning match game for your toddlers! Who knew that a piece of cardboard could help with educational endeavours?
How about designing some homemade carnival games for a party? Do something a little more active by making a cardboard skeeball. What a fun idea from Beau Baby.
Mini golf anyone? I couldn't find a direct source for this image, but I love the idea! If you have any golf balls and golf clubs lying around, make a target golf box and have some indoor fun! Ideal for winter time and sick days when you can't leave the house.
Make a race car track to race and compete! You can even have kids create cars out of legos to give them something else to build with it.
Does everyone remember making these in school? Put together a cardboard TV that scrolls through your kids' artwork or stories. Fun crafts that will take up time to design as well as color and draw on your scroll.
If your kids love animals, try a hand at making cardboard animals. This is such a cute idea from Recycled Crafts. Looking for more crafts? Try out these 4th of July fireworks or these Easter crafts.
These cardboard ideas for kids are so fun and provide hours of endless entertainment for a very low cost. If you can get your hands on a few boxes, this is a fun way to pass the time.
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