Cardboard Projects: Economical Substitute for Some Kids’ Toys

After doing some grocery shopping or when new appliances arrived, there can be a lot of cardboard boxes left in the house. Don’t just throw them away. They can be recycled and turned into items that can be useful to your kids. Unleash your creativity with these cardboard projects for kids. It will not only make your kids happy, but you can also do your own share of caring for the environment through reducing thrash, recycling and, reusing these items.

Shoebox dollhouse

Dollhouses can be expensive. Why not make one for your kids with the use of carton shoeboxes? All you need is an empty shoebox. Decorate it with drawings or patterns to serve as wallpaper and small pieces of cloth as curtains. You can use rectangular boxes as a bed and cover them with leftover cloth and you have a bed. Add some strips of cloth, yarn, bottle caps, and other knick-knacks to complete the set-up.

Shoebox foosball table

Color the tips of laundry pegs and attach it to a wooden skewer. Just be sure to remove all sharp and pointed tips and edges. 

Read also: “The Best Interactive toys for Toddlers”

DIY marble run

Use a shoebox cover for this project. Attach craft sticks of different sizes to the inside part of the box using hot glue to create barriers. The bottom of the shoebox can also be used to create another marble run project. 

Read also: “What are Educational Games For Kids?”

Marble maze

Kids will definitely enjoy this game. It will also enhance their hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills as they guide marbles to pass-through holes and obstacles.

Boats and ships

Using your imagination and creativity, boards can be transformed into boats and ships. Create them in sizes that their action figures and dolls will fit in.

Toy cars and trucks

You can make small ones for kids to play using their hands. But you can also make bigger versions where a child can fit in and pretend to be its drivers.  


Using cereal or pancake mix boxes, you can easily create an aquarium for the kids. Make a large opening in the box. Paint the inside in turquoise. Decorate it with kinetic sand, stones, shells, green pipe cleaners. Make fish using colored paper, put on googly eye on each as well as gills and scales using black markers. Attach a string at the reverse part of the fish and hang it on the inside part of the box.


Big boxes can make equally big projects that kids can enjoy. You can make a playhouse complete with doors and windows. You can also build brick-designed castles with towers. Complete the interior with curtains and small pillows and it will definitely make kids enjoy playing house.


Kids love to play. Let them pretend to be merchants selling their items. Large cardboard boxes can be transformed as a storefront. You can add in toy fruits and vegetables and other knick-knacks for more “products for sale.”

Kitchen sets

Parents can be creative and use cardboard boxes to make kitchen sets for their daughters. A refrigerator, pantry,  gas range, a microwave oven, and even more. These will truly make your little chefs happy.

Read also:  “Top Toys for 6-Year-Old Girls”

Cardboard stick horse

Use large cereal boxes to make the horse’s head. Complete it using black markers for its mouth, eyes, and nose. Cut another ear-shaped board and attached it to the horse. Attach it to a wrapping paper rolls and the kids can giddy up!


Does your little boy dream of becoming an astronaut when he grows up?  Let his dream be a reality as early as now through the cardboard rocket ship. Design it with flashing colors and cosmic cutouts to complete the set.

Kids love playing and having unique toys and games can create more excitement for them. Through these cardboard projects for kids, they can enjoy the more economical versions of expensive playsets. You can also teach your kids the value of recycling reusable items. 

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