40+ Cardboard Crafts for Kids! Fun with Boxes, Tubes & More!
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Transform recyclables into some upcycled crafts. Cardboard is good for more than just packing, try some of these crafts and kids activities!
The recycling materials you can use are endless. But one of my favorites is cardboard.
I always have cardboard boxes or cardboard tubes on hand.
Kids will definitely not be bored with these 40 cardboard crafts and activities!
Cardboard Box Crafts and Activities for Kids
Don’t toss your cardboard boxes.
Repurpose your large boxes, small boxes, cereal boxes, shoe boxes, or any other boxes you have.
And use it for one of these cardboard box crafts or kids activities today.
- Build a cereal box aquarium craft as seen on The Best Ideas for Kids. No need to fight over who has to feed the fish. Boxing without fighting!
- Decorate a cardboard memory box. Mark a date on the calendar to open the box and reminisce about the contents.
- Assemble a cardboard box town for activity fun. Grab some toy people and cars for hours of imaginative play.
- Experience a reading box adventure. Simply place some books in a large box for kids to enjoy. Adventure awaits!
- Create a cardboard box fort shown on Hands On As We Grow. Make it as simple or fancy as you would like.
- Construct a cardboard box boat found on Nurture Store. Ahoy, matey!
- Soar in a cardboard box airplane as seen on Repeat Crafter Me. Then try one of these 34 soaring airplane crafts and activities for kids.
- Chug along with a box train for both a cardboard craft and kids activity all in one! Chugga, chugga, choo, choo!
- Go dumpster diving with newspaper for hidden treasures. What will you find in the cleanest dumpster around?
- Try hammering a cardboard box. I love the idea of using this as name practice. Simply write your child’s name and let them hammer the tees on the letters.
- Practice fine motor skills with a tugging box shown on Messy Little Monster. Great for babies and toddlers! Maybe big kids can craft this cardboard cutie and then give it to a little siblings.
- Experiment with cardboard box ramps. What can you find to fit and roll down these ramps?
Cardboard Marble Run Activities
Cardboard marble runs are a fun STEM activity for little ones.
Try building one of these cardboard marble run crafts today with your kids and watch what happens.
If it doesn’t work correctly, try again.
Use marbles, small balls, or toy cars and see what works best?
These are great for building problem solving skills!
- Explore gravity with a cardboard pieces marble run found on Red Ted Art. What goes up must come down.
- Gather some recyclables to create a cardboard and plastic marble run activity shown on Nurture Store.
- Attach a cardboard tubes marble run as seen on Tinker Lab to your wall. Painter’s tape to the rescue!
- Design a cardboard box marble run found on Happy Mom Hacks. Cardboard tubes of all sizes work well for this.
- Create a toilet paper rolls marble run shown on Powerful Mothering. Paint the rolls first for added color.
- Build a marble run maze as seen on Frugal Fun 4 Boys. Don’t let the marble fall in a hole!
- Play a marble run game found on Frugal Fun 4 Boys. Write numbers on the cups for math practice.
- Make a straw marble run shown on Hello Wonderful. Add wooden beads and blocks for marble stoppers.
- Sculpt a clay marble run as seen on Coffee Cups and Crayons. So colorful!
Cardboard Tube Crafts for Kids
These kids cardboard tube crafts are on a roll!
Use toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, or wrapping paper rolls for crafting, sculpting, and painting with kids.
- Build a toilet paper roll robot found on Surviving on a Teacher’s Salary. This craft could also pass as a little monster.
- Say thanks with gratitude turkeys. There are so many things to be grateful for. And this is one way to display your blessings.
- Kids can practice fine motor skills with a spring tree cardboard tube craft. The pink tissue paper blossoms are beautiful!
- Sing into a homemade cardboard roll microphone. A fun way to practice the alphabet song!
- Shape an abstract toilet paper roll sculpture. Paint the pieces ahead of time. Or drip paint over the creation when ready.
- Create toilet paper roll stained art as seen on Powerful Mothering. Then paint with watercolors once the outlines are dry. Gorgeous!
- Decorate a gift bag or wrapping paper with a cardboard roll heart stamp. And then pair this with a fingerprint heart card for a heartfelt gift.
- Explore shapes with a toilet paper roll shape painting shown on Mama Papa Bubba. It doesn’t matter if the toilet paper had been one-ply or two-ply. Toilet paper rolls are pliable enough to make circles, hearts, rectangles, triangles, and squares.
- Enjoy a toilet paper roll flower painting from Living Life and Learning. Point out the petals, leaves, and stems.
- Make a wish on a toilet paper roll dandelion painting found on DIY Joy. A video is available to show how easy this kids cardboard craft can be.
- Cut different designs for toilet paper roll flower stamps as shown on Taming Little Monsters.
- Celebrate with a toilet paper roll fireworks painting as seen on Crafty Morning. Add glitter for more sparkle!
More Upcycled Cardboard Crafts
Put away the video games and create with ex-boxes instead.
Here are some more cardboard crafts to try with your kids.
- Spin a cardboard hand drum you made yourself. Beads can be noisy!
- Color a cardboard airplane craft from a cereal box. Then zoom through the house.
- Fly around with a cardboard jetpack found on Fireflies and Mudpies. Yellow and orange strips of construction paper make great flames.
- Flutter inside or outside with cardboard fairy wings shown on The Ladybirds’ Adventures. Tissue paper is colorful and light.
- Put together a jumbo cardboard puzzle. This one is perfect for babies and toddlers!
- Play a DIY board game. Use whatever toys you have on hand and invent your own rules.
- Design cardboard string art. Pushing tacks in cardboard is much easier for little ones than hammering nails in wood. And it’s just as beautiful!
- Build an egg carton train. Threading the cardboard egg carton pieces with pipe cleaners is great activity for fine motor skills!
- Practice colors and number recognition with an egg carton matching. Learning can be fun!