11 Ways to keep kids entertained with cardboard boxes

Struggling for new ways to keep kids entertained on the weekend or a rainy day? Before you pop the next batch of cardboard into the recycling bin, here’s some great toys and games to keep kids entertained – made with cardboard boxes.


Dept of Environment Dingo campaign

Marble maze

Cardboard marble run

You can make this one as easy or challenging as you like. Take a cardboard lid and stick some sturdy strips of cardboard to it to make a maze. Add a marble and away you go.

Image credit and more project information from Frugal Fun for Boys& Girls.

Fire truck costume

Fire truck cardboard

A handy one to keep up your sleeve for the next Book Week dress-up or costume party. Cut the bottom out of a cardboard box. Paint it red and add fire truck detailing and wheels (plastic lids or plates would work well for these). Add a couple of shoulder straps using some old fabric or string and it’s ready to go.

Image credit and more project info here.


Dept of Environment Dingo campaign


Keep kids entertained cardboard golf

This golf game is a great way to keep kids entertained! Remove the bottom from a cardboard box and cut a few small arches in the base. Decorate the box, adding a score above each hole. Use a plastic putter to knock a soft ball through the holes and score the points.

Image credit and more project information at Craftulate.

Tray table

Cardboard tray table

This one will have so many uses – at home, in the garden and even in the car. Remove the bottom of the box and cut arches out of two sides. Decorate however you like. You could also attach half a cardboard lid to one side to act as a storage box.

Image credit and more project info at the Centsible Life.


Cardboard kids scenery

A great backdrop can inspire all kinds of creative play. If it is made from cardboard, you can change them over easily. Try this jungle theme, or maybe a city scape – flatten some large cardboard boxes and cut out a skyline. Paint it black and add some small yellow rectangles for windows. Prop it against the wall. Easy!

Image credit and more project info here.

Christmas chimney

Keep the kids entertained chimney

Start saving your boxes for Christmas now! You and the kids will have loads of fun making this simple chimney… a perfect place to hang your stockings!

Image credit and more project information at I Creative Ideas.

Cardboard tree

Cardboard tree project

Use this photo as inspiration to make your own mini trees – great for hanging jewellery. Cut two tree shapes and cut a line through the trunk almost to the top of one. Slide it over the other tree shape.

More project information from Jump Start.

Cat house

Cardboard cat house

All cats love boxes. Give your furry friend one of its own. Cut some holes in a variety of boxes and stack them as you please. You can even put their soft cat bed on the top!

Image credit and more project information from Cool Cat Tree Plans.

Pizza box garage

Keep kids entertained garage

Such a simple idea using only a pizza box and four toilet roll tubes! A great play space for toy cars and trucks and a fab way to keep kids entertained!

Image credit and more project information at Project Kid.

Dolls house

Keep kids entertained dolls house

This gorgeous dolls house is much simpler than it looks. Cut around 10cm off the front of a tall cardboard box and use sturdy cardboard to build the rooms. Use paint or wallpaper samples to decorate each room and introduce the dolls to their new home – they’ll be very impressed!

More project information at Crafts By Courtney.

Shop front

Cardboard shop

If you are feeling very ambitious – try building this shop! Hours of rainy day fun.

Image credit and more project information from Good To Know.

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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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