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40 Creative Cardboard Box Crafts to Keep Kids Engaged

Laura Collins
Fun Cardboard Box Ideas and Crafts for Kids

When you have kids in the house, you must also make lots of room for cardboard boxes because you will be buying so many kids’ toys and necessities that all will be delivered in different-sized cardboard boxes.

Also, not to forget the things that you order, everything gets delivered in cardboard boxes. So, what do you do with so many boxes around the house? If you have been tossing them in the dustbin as soon as you unwrap your things, you want to stop doing that now.

Throwing away cardboard boxes is the last thing you want to do because there are so many ways you can use them for your child’s creative activities.

You can’t even imagine the uses these boxes have to fuel creativity in your kid and make them spend their break time away from the screens. It will solve so many of the problems that you have as a concerned parent.

So, without waiting any more, let us tell you about the various crafts with cardboard that can promise loads of fun playtime for your kids.

40 Cardboard Craft Ideas for Kids

Have a look at these immensely fun cardboard box ideas for your kids. We have bifurcated the crafts into easy and hard in terms of difficulty level. The easy ones feature full cardboard boxes that require minimal cutting and designing and get done with few materials. The difficult ones are for older kids and involve a lot of intricate building and decorating.

Craft with Cardboard for Kids – Easy Level

The easy level of cardboard craft ideas for kids doesn’t require too much cutting and pasting of the cardboard. Most of these use cardboard as a whole and require very few materials to complete. It is best for kids aged 1-3 years for a fun activity that doesn’t take too much time or effort. But even older kids can do them if they enjoy them.

1. Reading Box

Reading Box

Sitting inside a box and reading has many benefits for the young ones. This closed environment makes them keep their mind off other ‘outer’ things and concentrate solely on the book they read. It makes them completely forget about the world outside the box and hence improves their concentration and imagination power.

Things you’ll need:

  • A box that is large enough for your child to sit in and get lost in the world of stories.
  • Paint and decorative items (optional)

2. Cardboard Tugging Box

Cardboard Tugging Box

This craft with cardboard helps kids improve their fine motor skills as they are supposed to tug at the ribbons tied to the box. It doesn’t require any decorations and gets ready within minutes. Adults will need to set it up for the kids.

Things you’ll need:

3. Cardboard Box Boat

Cardboard Box Boat

This fun activity allows your kid to create their version of a boat using a few materials. They will especially love painting the big surface of the boat and decorating it with maps, wheels, etc. Ahoy, let them sail.

Things you’ll need:

4. Cardboard Box of Memories

Cardboard Box of Memories

Let your kid hold all their happy moments from their growing-up years in this box of memories. Help them create a cute box that they can use to keep all their sweet memories like paintings, writings, etc.

Things you’ll need:

  • Shoe cardboard box or any cardboard box of the same dimensions with a lid
  • Paint
  • Craft paper for decorations

Click Here for Full Tutorial

5. Cardboard Slide

Cardboard Slide

Surprise your little one with a slide of their own! This craft from cardboard will make your kid squeal with laughter every time they come down the stairs. It will ensure their mood is good throughout the time they spend in the house.

Things you’ll need:

6. Cardboard Construction Sensory Craft

Cardboard Construction Sensory Craft

Sensory crafts are a favorite of every kid. This craft with cardboard provides sensory play with several loose parts like beans and rice. This type of craft helps a kid develop their senses while giving them the pure joy of rolling and falling on the pieces.

Things you’ll need:

7. Cardboard Box Airplane

Cardboard Box Airplane

Let your toddler see themself taking off with an airplane they can sit in. Create this craft with cardboard and see your toddler play and have hours of pure fun.

Things you’ll need:

8. Cardboard Easel

Cardboard Easel

For the young artist, you need a craft that is creative and useful too. This craft with cardboard is fun and easy to create and encourages your child to explore their artistic skills.

Things you’ll need:

9. Cardboard Roll Heart Stamp

Cardboard Roll Heart Stamp

For this, you need a cardboard roll and crease one side of one end to make it stamp red or any color heart on paper. This can be used to decorate other cardboard crafts or create a heartful painting.

Things you’ll need:

10. Cardboard Turtle

Cardboard Turtle

This cute turtle will keep your little one company for activities out in the sun. This craft activity for kids is very feel-good as the kids get to decorate the turtle’s shell with bright flowers.

Things you’ll need:

11. Cardboard Box Art Studio

Cardboard Box Art Studio

If your kid is into drawings and paintings, it is a good thing to create an art studio box for them. In this, they can display their artwork and it will help them take their art seriously by imagining themselves as an artist in the future.

Things you’ll need:

12. Cardboard Nature Craft

Cardboard Nature Craft

This is a very simple craft with cardboard that your little one can do on their own. Kids can make this by using real bits of nature and hanging them on their study desks or rooms to get inspired by the beauty and positivity.

Things you’ll need

  • Cardboard
  • Rubber bands
  • Leaves, flowers, and other natural things

13. Cardboard Throw Ball Painting Craft

Cardboard Throw Ball Painting Craft

This is an extremely relaxing craft with cardboard and is very easy to create. If your kid is hyperactive or feels angry and agitated often, you can make them play this throw-ball game which is artsy and fun.

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Things you’ll need:

14. Cardboard Tube Tree

Cardboard Tube Tree

This is a delightful craft with cardboard that uses cardboard tubes instead of the whole box of cardboard. You can use tissue paper rolls to create a colorful and cute tree.

Things you’ll need:

15. Cardboard String Art

Cardboard String Art

This is a simple craft with cardboard that kids can do by themselves with very little to no help from adults. Because this art doesn’t involve any sharp objects like nails for exerting tasks like hammering, this string art makes the kid learn the art of patience and calmness as it requires one to be highly attentive and work slowly to avoid any mistakes.

Things you’ll need:

Craft with Cardboard for Kids – Hard Level

Some kids get the thrill out of creating complicated art and crafts. If you, too, as a parent, want to bring out the deeply seated creativity of your kid, then choose these difficult-level cardboard arts and crafts. These crafts can also be done by kids, but adults are advised to do the cutting and using hot glue.

16. Cardboard Box Castle

Cardboard Box Castle

Building a castle is a dream of every child. This craft with cardboard helps realize their dreams in the most creative way possible. They will enjoy building it and playing their favorite royal characters.

Things you’ll need:

17. Cardboard Box Aquarium

Cardboard Box Aquarium

The aquarium is the second best place for kids after a playground. Why not bring it home with this craft with cardboard? The little ones have the liberty to create an aquarium of their liking- what color fishes, what things to add inside the water, etc., thus giving a boost to their creativity.

Things you’ll need:

18. Cardboard Box Town

Cardboard Box Town

Town craft is so much fun that your kid will want to build it again and again. This craft with cardboard calms down the excessive energy of your kid and put it to good use.

Things you’ll need:

19. Cardboard Box Train

Cardboard Box Train

If your kid feels excited about rail journeys, let them build a cardboard train like they want to. Connecting the boxes together to create a train and decorating it infuses the kids with lots of energetic creativity.

Things you’ll need:

20. Cardboard Guitar

Cardboard Guitar

Is your child fascinated with musical instruments or shows interest in music? Then you have to make them this cardboard guitar that looks exactly like the real thing. Your kid can act playing on the guitar till they are old enough to hold and play a real guitar.

Things you’ll need:

21. Cardboard Bicycle

Cardboard Bicycle

This is a great way to introduce your toddler to the vehicle they will be riding later on. Building this bicycle will generate more interest in them about it.

Things you’ll need:

22. Cardboard Laptop

Cardboard Laptop

A laptop may seem like a thing too early to be introduced to your little kid, but this is a craft with cardboard that your child will thoroughly enjoy creating. Plus, it’s great if your kid wants some screen time; you can instead tell them to build this screen-free screen.

Things you’ll need:

23. Cardboard Robot

Cardboard Robot

Building a friendly-looking robot with cardboard is great for kids with no siblings. This craft with cardboard will ensure your kid has a playmate in the robot.

Things you’ll need:

24. Cardboard Tent

Cardboard Tent

The summer holidays are seldom spent indoors. Help your kid build a colorful tent craft with cardboard that they can use to pretend play and indulge in their fun outdoor activities during the holidays.

Things you’ll need:

25. Hammering Cardboard Box

Hammering Cardboard Box

This cardboard craft is excellent for kids to learn the alphabet and words. You can use it to help them hammer their names or random words.

Things you’ll need:

26. Cardboard Cake

Cardboard Cake

Creating a delicious and scrumptious cake is akin to eating it. The delight your kid feels while eating a cake will be at the same level when they are crafting it. This craft with cardboard can be as creative as your kid wants it to be. Let them create a three or four-tier cake with lots of frostings, decorations, etc., that they can eat with their eyes and use to pretend to play any celebration.

Things you’ll need:

27. Cardboard Car

Cardboard Car

Kids love to pretend to drive a vehicle. This craft with cardboard makes kids create shapes and neat lines, thus enhancing their brain power. After finishing the craft, they can have fun by playacting, being an imaginative character riding it.

Things you’ll need:

28. Cardboard Marble Run

Cardboard Marble Run

Is your kid a fan of marble games? This craft with cardboard ensures your kid can create their own version of the game and play it anytime they want.

Things you’ll need:

  • Many Cardboard boxes, preferably toy or cereal boxes
  • Long cardboard pieces
  • Marbles
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29. Cardboard Roll Microphone

Cardboard Roll Microphone

Let your kids playact being their favorite characters and giving a speech on stage with this cute microphone craft with cardboard.

Things you’ll need:

  • Cardboard tubes
  • Paint
  • Foam balls
  • Stickers
  • Hot glue
  • Glitter (optional)

30. Cardboard Hand Drum

Cardboard Hand Drum

A simple and cute instrument for toddlers, the hand drum is a delightfully creative craft with cardboard. It gets ready in less time and can be decorated as your kid wishes.

Things you’ll need:

31. Cardboard Jetpack

Cardboard Jetpack

Ready, steady, zoom! Attach the jetpack to the back of your kid and let them pretend to play that they are zooming up and up through the clouds and making spectacular dives, and then taking off again. Though this craft with cardboard requires very few materials to create, its making is a little complicated.

Things you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Orange and yellow construction paper
  • Markers
  • Packing or duct tape

32. Cardboard Fairy Wings

Cardboard Fairy Wings

Let your little girl imagine herself as a butterfly or fairy with this cut-out cardboard craft idea. It can be worn on the back and will make your girl look like a pop of color jumping and pretending to fly.

Things you’ll need:

33. Cardboard Puzzle

Cardboard Puzzle

Solving puzzles is a great brain booster. But making one’s own puzzle is another level of activity for the brain. Assist your kid in making this craft with cardboard and set the puzzle for them to solve. You can create multiple DIY puzzles taking cues from available puzzles or creating your own.

Things you’ll need:

  • A large piece of cardboard
  • Crayons, markers, or paint

34. Cardboard Box Monster

Cardboard Box Monster

Beware, a monster in the house! No, we aren’t talking about your little one, though they can give real monsters high competition. Creating a monster out of cardboard is what will give the thrills to your kiddo. Adult alert! There will be two monsters in the house after the craft is done!

Things you’ll need:

35. Cardboard Rainbow Tunnel

Cardboard Rainbow Tunnel

A craft that gets your kid moving is great for any day. Help your kid make this rainbow tunnel craft with cardboard. This tunnel can be set up at home or on the garden or patio for your little kid to jump in and crawl under it to reach the reward waiting for them at the opening.

Things you’ll need:

  • Large cardboard
  • Cardboard pieces for stands
  • Paint

36. Cardboard Fire Truck

Cardboard Fire Truck

Building this craft with cardboard will not only entertain your kid but also educate them. You can teach them about the usage and benefits of a fire truck while making it with them. Also, make them aware of such situations when a fire truck is needed and how to be proactive during the emergency.

Things you’ll need:

  • 3- 4 cardboard boxes- 1 for the fire truck and others for making its parts
  • Construction paper
  • Yarn
  • Gold foam sheets
  • Markers

37. Cardboard Box Rainforest

Cardboard Box Rainforest

Being close to nature has proven to be highly encouraging for young minds and fills them with positive energy. This rainforest can be created using real bits of nature plus crafts resembling nature so your kid can explore their creativity while being infused with the real energy of nature.

Things you’ll need:

  • Cardboard box
  • Cardboard kitchen rolls
  • Tissue paper
  • Real tree branches and leaves
  • Paint
  • Pebbles
  • Toy animals

38. Cardboard Helmet

Cardboard Helmet

Did you know you and your kid together could create an awesome helmet for their plays and other events? Yes, with this craft with cardboard, you can assist your kid in creating the kind of regal, simple, or extraordinary helmet they require. Here we have shared a king’s soldier’s helmet.

Things you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Duct tape
  • Hot glue
  • Crayons or paint

39. Cardboard House

Cardboard House

Building a single house is lots of fun and lets your kid imagine themselves living in it. It’s the perfect playact activity, and building the house is even more fun.

Things you’ll need:

40. Cardboard Wearable Dinosaur Costume

Cardboard Wearable Dinosaur Costume

Dinosaurs roam the land again in the form of this craft with cardboard. This extremely creative and fun craft will make your kid squeal with joy as they make them and playact as dinosaurs by wearing them.

Things you’ll need:

  • One square and one rectangular cardboard box in the size of a head and body, respectively
  • Cardboard scraps
  • White foam craft paper, or you can paint cardboard white
  • Spray paint
  • Hot glue gun or strong craft glue

Benefits of Doing Arts and Crafts for Kids

Making, breaking, making again- crafts are a great way for a kid to indulge in a creative activity. When kids become a few months older, they show signs of needing to use their hands out of pure curiosity.

They will touch and grab at things and look at everything with wonder in their eyes. Arts and crafts give the right opportunity for growing kids to satiate their curiosity and boost their brain function by doing something constructive.

If you are wondering about the benefits that these activities will bring to your kids, here is a list of them to encourage you to make your kid spend their free time in these activities rather than glued to a screen.

  • Increases Creativity and Imagination: These two are the finest qualities that arts and crafts help develop in kids. Arts and crafts make the kids stretch their imaginations and creativity as far as possible, making them open to various ideas and concepts they weren’t aware of before. This leads to improved brain function as it makes them utilize their minds more and not just for studying and understanding a subject. Engaging in crafts with cardboard and other materials early on enables your kid to solve many of life’s problems and roadblocks with dexterity.
  • Helps Develop Fine Motor Skills: These are essential skills for a toddler to be able to develop in the early stages of their life. Fine motor skills are the ability to use the small muscles in their hands and wrists for movement. These skills are very important assets of any human being as most work is done using these muscles- be it writing, playing, or doing any household chore. Kids who don’t engage in arts and crafts at an early stage tend to have poor fine motor skills, which they have great difficulty developing later on.
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Helps Develop Fine Motor Skills

  • Boosts Self-Confidence: Research shows that many kids lack confidence in themselves. This is attributed to a lot of things like pressure from society and parents to do well, bullying by seniors and classmates, no support or encouragement from parents and teachers, etc. Arts and crafts are responsible for building that self-confidence in kids. A confident (mind, not overconfident) child is capable of achieving so much more and keeping one in high spirits through failures too. When a child engages in arts and crafts, they get a sense of achievement of having done something or creating something out of nothing. When elders appreciate their artwork, it gives a boost to their self-confidence and makes them want to repeat the activity and do it differently next time to experience that feeling of self-worth again.
  • Enhances Cognitive Skills: Cognitive skills are the ability to use the brain to think, create and innovate. When doing arts and crafts, a child’s brain is being utilized for these tasks and thinks nothing else, thus developing this core part well. Arts and crafts involve the use of colors, patterns, numbers, shapes, and more which all contribute to developing this skill that will make them smarter and able to think of a variety of ways to do a certain thing.
  • Works on Their Mental Health: Mental health has taken center stage as a global issue in the last few years. Even kids are not left untouched by it. The daily grind of studies, homework, peer pressure, and constant criticism by parents and teachers have led to kids facing mental health issues that were only seen in grown-ups sometime back. If you don’t want your kid to go through that during their school life and even later on, you might want them to indulge in arts and crafts at a young age, whenever time permits. Creating arts and crafts has a soothing effect on the overworked brain and releases tension, and tames the excessive energy of your kid by directing it to something constructive.

works on their mental health

  • Teaches Self-Expression: Through a child’s created art and craft work, one can easily catch the child’s inner feelings and personality traits. That is because children pour their inner thoughts and feelings into the art they are creating without them realizing it. This self-expression is essential for kids to gather their thoughts and vent out their extreme emotions. This leads to them managing their feelings which they might not be able to do otherwise. Arts and crafts are a kind of outlet for kids to express their feelings and get their emotions in order.
  • Teaches Teamwork and Socialization: Often, kids require assistance from adults when working on arts and crafts. Or they are paired with classmates to do school arts and crafts projects. Whichever way, when kids work with others, it teaches them the fine skill of socializing and teamwork. This is an essential skill that comes in handy in all aspects of later life. So kids must be encouraged to work with others to develop this key skill of coordinating and cooperating.
  • Makes Them More Patient: Arts and crafts take their own sweet time to get done. There is no ready-in-2-minute formula for these creative activities. These, thus, teach kids to learn to accept the slow pace and get better at them with time. This ultimately results in kids being more patient in everything they do. You will see their levels of agitation drop significantly after doing arts and crafts regularly. This is one of the benefits that parents want their kids to have early on.

Makes Them More Patient

  • Helps Them Be Goal-Oriented: You cannot start anything without having a vision of the end results of your project or work. This also applies to kids doing arts and crafts. Before they start doing them, they have a clear thought of what they want their art or craft to look like. Then they work to achieve that goal. This foresight and clear vision of the goal lets them know what they are creating and gives them a sense of purpose as opposed to creating mindless art with no thought behind it. This approach to arts and crafts will reflect in the kids’ other areas of life as well. They will approach other situations in their life similarly by keeping a clear goal in mind before starting on them, thus ensuring they achieve what they set out to or keep getting better at it and even surpass their goals through consistent efforts.
  • Improved Concentration: The ability to focus on one thing at a time is a valued skill that not many have. You can instill this skill into your kids right from their childhood through arts and crafts. Creating and building makes kids focused on the activity, unmindful of anything else. With this increased concentration power, your kid will perform better academically, too, as their focus on each subject being taught will improve. So let your kid do arts and crafts side by side with school work to make them excel in all spheres of their life.

Final Words

We hope these 40 crafts with cardboard made you excited about creating them with your little one. Do follow them as they are written, but there is plenty of room for tweaking them to suit your and your kid’s imagination.

All of these crafts with cardboard, whether easy or hard, need the assistance of adults. Of course, help your kid make them, but also ensure you don’t take over them. Let them do most of the work; be there when they get stuck. And don’t forget to encourage them and shower them with praise for their work.

But don’t leave your kid at it alone. Be there even if as a mere supporter. Did you know making arts and crafts with your kid brings parents and kids even closer? It makes them understand each other better and gell well together, creating a sort of friendship and team spirit between them.

Laura Collins
Laura Collins

With a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the University of Berkeley, Laura Collins has been with us as a freelancer since 2019. Her 12-year career includes teaching art in elementary schools and running a successful craft blog. Her experience also encompasses roles as an art therapist and workshop leader for children’s art programs. She believes in the power of creative expression for emotional and cognitive development. Her passion lies in spreading creativity in children through hands-on projects. She's also a talented illustrator, often creating visuals for her instructional guides.

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