Make a space ship that goes to the moon, a castle, a pirate ship or even a ramp for racing cars – there’s ooodles of cardboard box crafts here for 2 and 3 year olds right up to school age children. Inspiration for rainy days, summer garden fun and encouraging pretend play…. all without getting the wallet out!
Sensory box play for 2 and 3 year olds
I just love these ideas from MeriCherry – a shape box for disappearing toys, a ribbon box and sensory board. Just get out the duct tape and just see what happens!
Cardboard Sensory Boxes
Learning about the world through small world sensory boxes. This luscious rainforest box is by crayonboxchronicles.
Diorama (Story Boxes)
How cute! mixed media art work is fantastic for helping develop your child’s creative side!.
Cardboard Yarn Fish
Such a simple and quick glued and painted cardboard fish for the kids to yarn wrap and hang. This craft is so quick and fun they will want to make a shoal!
Cardboard Box Aquarium
A humble cardboard box becomes a gorgeous pretend play aquarium for kid-made styrofoam fishes. The strips across the top of the box let the fish float from one side of the box to the other…. and sometimes race eachother to the end!
Cardboard & Yarn Wrapped Bees
Such a simple bug craft for kids – a gorgeous mix of cardboard and yarn wrapping.
DIY Bunny Lacing Card
Hand to eye coordination activities just got cuter!! Just glue some layers of cardboard together to create simple lacing cards of any shape and character (free template for the bunny with the tutorial).
Simple Cardboard Play Ramp
A go-to activity for 2 year olds – finding joy in the simple things.
Bankers Box House
Brilliant!! and the textured pattern of the boxes really suit buildings – I want to make a whole town!
Duct Tape Hobby Horse
From something a simple as cardboard boxes and duct tape the most wonderful pretend play toys can be realized. This gorgeous tutorial comes from Meri Cherry on Housing A Forest
Cardboard Pirate Ship
A perfect craft for elemental age children – a platform for imaginative play for pirates and pirate fairies alike!
Toilet Roll & Cardboard Planes
The perfect DIY toy for the thrill-seeking hands of your little ones ¦. zoom!
Cardboard Box Fun Plane
If you’ve moved recently or bought some new stuff then here’s a real fun idea for upcycling all those cardboard boxes for some pretend play fun.
Shoe Box Bus beep beep!
Just cover a shoebox in paper and it can be transformed into any toy – a bus, a truck and even a drum.
This gorgeous idea is by craftulate
What’s not to love about Cardboard dollhouses! visit your local shoe shop and ask for a few boxes if you don’t already have a stash at home, and just tape together to make a modern house, limited in stories only by the number of boxes you have!
See the craft tutorial on mollymoocrafts
Alligator Affirmation Box “ Showing Kids Love
Meet Cap, the Alligator Affirmation Box! Cap is no ordinary box, he’s an alligator! and inside his recycled scaly exterior holds loving and empowering words. Showing children love via crayonboxchronicles
Cardboard DIY Matching Pairs Game
The race is on to find the missing clown fish ¦ but don't wake the shark, or he will eat up your turn ¦ a simple fun free printable game, with a twist, glued to cardboard so your kids can play over and over and over and over again!
Summer Pirate Fun
Make the port holes good and big so that wet spongy cannon balls can be thrown at the kids to keep them cool during hot summer days! Just imagine the giggles!
Great fun via mothersmessymadness
Cardboard Puppet Theatre
Perfect for inviting friends around for some dramatic play. Shhhhh the show is about the start…….
Shoebox Puppet Theatre
The perfect little theatre for finger puppets and Polly Pockets!!
Pretend Play Food
With just some cardboard, tape, tissue paper and paint the kids will have great fun designing their own pizza for pretend play fun or just tricking hungry daddies!
AND then of course you will need a cardboard box oven in which to cook your fabulous pizza.
This beautifully simple one is from MadebyJoel
Button House For Fairies
Cut a few windows and doors in a little juice box and cover with buttons – fairies like buttons, bright and colorful ones!
Enlarge your children’s drawings and glue them to cardboard for some fun moveable puppets.
Shoe Tie Practice Board
We’re learning to tie shoes in our house at the moment – Want to learn too?
Cardboard Box Telly
A simple painted cardboard box with button remote control – why not let teddy read the news!
Cardboard Butterfly Wings
Watch them fly from one side of the garden to the other, so cute, so fun, so pretty.
Make A DIY Shape Sorter
In just 30mins you’ll have a homemade toy that is fun and full of learning opportunities for 2 and 3 year olds.
AND sometimes it’s nice for the kids to be given the freedom to just paint in a box ¦.. and themselves along with it haha!!
OR just have some quiet time with some stickers and the contents of their art bin – love it!
Time to become a cardboard box hoarder…. and get your crafty pants on!