4 Large Cardboard Box Activities

My absolute favorite crafting material is cardboard. The possibilities of a cardboard box are endless!

Between going through a phase where we had two kids in diapers, and then also having things delivered during quarantine…we have A LOT of cardboard boxes. I’m talking a mountain of them in our basement storage room. My whole family also knows about my cardboard obsession so they will also send large boxes my way when they receive packages. 

Here are a few of my favorite cardboard box activities and creations that we have made:

Cardboard Campout

Happy kid pretending to camp with a pretend fire and a craft involving a repurposed cardboard box tent

We bought a camper last year and my son is so excited to go camping. It is not warm enough yet to go outdoor camping so we brought camping indoors with our cardboard tent. We filled the “tent” with blankets and pillows. It made a cozy reading place and also a fun place for imaginative play. The Christma lights added an extra touch of dreaminess.

Kid pretending to camp in a repourposed cardboard box tent and roasting hotdogs over a pretend fire

We also used our Learning Resources Camp Out set to pretend to make hot dogs and s’mores over the fire. 

Kid roasting a hotdog over a pretend fire and a cardboard box tent craft completed in the background with lights

What you will need to make a tent: Cardboard box, Christmas lights, box cutter


1. Fold large, flat section of box in half

2. Use box cutter to cut rows of holes in the box

3. Loop lights in and out through the holes

Gingerbread House

Completed repurposed cardboard box gingerbread house. A cardboard activity for kids to play with

This little gingerbread house was a total hit with my boys. Although, I don’t know what it is about things with doors that cause so many fights with kids (at least with my kids). One boy always wants it open and one wants it closed and both want to be in control. Anyways, I guess it’s a great way to work on taking turns. 

Happy Kid playing with a Christmas gingerbread house. House made with repurposed with cardboard box and a craft activity

Note: For this project I used duct tape but since then I have discovered that I actually prefer to use hot glue for cardboard projects. I have found the projects last longer and look prettier when a hot glue gun is used.

Interior view of completed craft using repurposed cardboard box, Christmas lights and paper plates

What you will need: 2 large cardboard boxes, duct tape, paper plates, tissue paper, hot glue gun, styrofoam and craft paper (I used the styrofoam and craft paper to make the roof, but you could also use another cardboard box instead. I accidentally cut up the large box that I had originally planned to use for the roof so I had to make mine out of styrofoam and craft paper)


1. Tape together two large boxes for the main part of the house

2. Tape together two large pieces of styrofoam and secure them to the top of the house using duct tape

3. Cover styrofoam with craft paper

4. For the white roof decorations, cut out paper plates and use a hot glue gun to attach them to the roof. 

5. For the “gumballs”, make balls out of tissue paper and hot glue them to the roof

5. For a little extra magic, tape Christmas lights to the inside of the gingerbread house roof. 

Inspired by: innerchildfun

Ice Fishing Cabin

Kid playing with a repurposed cardboard box ice fishing cabin and pretending to fish on packing foam ice

For this fun cabin, I used the same cardboard boxes as the gingerbread house. By the time I decided to change the gingerbread house into a fishing cabin (a couple months later), the duct tape was all peeling off. So I decided to completely take the duct tape off and hot glued the boxes together instead. In the future, I will definitely be using hot glue for my large cardboard projects instead of duct tape. 

Kid playing with ice fishing cabin craft mad out of repurposed cardboard box for kids activity

To transform this from a gingerbread house to a fishing cabin I removed the roof of the gingerbread house. In its place, I hot glued one skinny piece of cardboard to the top of the “cabin”, creating a dome shape, and then covered it was a large sheet of plush, white felt. Then I rolled up pieces of craft paper and hot glued them all down the front of the cabin (looking back, it would have been easier to have used paper towel rolls). 

Kid playing with ice fishing cabin craft mad out of repurposed cardboard box for kids activity

To make the ice fishing spot, I cut a hole in a large piece of styrofoam. Then, I placed blue paper under the hole and threw in some of my sons’ play fish. He loved fishing at his fishing cabin. 

Cardboard Box Train

Kid playing with repurposed cardboard train with stuffed animals in the train cars

Do you have a lot of diaper boxes laying around? Why not make them into a fun train?!

This is really simple to make and is super fun to play in. I think both of my boys and their stuffed animals enjoyed this one.

Kids playing with a repourposed cardboard train with stuffed animal and infant smiling enjoying the craft and activity

What you will need: 5 cardboard boxes, colored duct tape, toilet paper or paper towel roll, paper, tape


1. Tape a short box inside the largest box, making the back rest of your engine 

2. Tape the paper towel/ toilet paper roll to the top of the first box

3. Wrap all of the boxes in colored duct tape

4. Trace and cut out circles from paper to create the wheels (I traced the rolls of duct tape to make a nice circle). 

5. Tape the “wheels” to the train

6. Grab some stuffed animals and take a ride in the train. Imagine all the places you could go!

Inspired by: Craftymommyyyc

For more cardboard box activities follow the links below! We would love to see your cardboard box activities as well!

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3 years ago

These look so fun. I love the train one and need to try it with all my amazon boxes!

2 years ago

you are a craft genius!!! i am saving these ideas for when we set up our annual doll festival

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