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Activities for Kids: Cardboard Box Fun

Activities for Kids.

Activities for Kids

What is it about cardboard boxes and kids? We hear it every time gifts are given to children, “He liked the box more than the gift!”

There are actually good reasons why young children love boxes and there are many ways you can further this play for your kids. This post will help shed light on why children love boxes and how you can make it more fun for them.

Why do children love boxes?

I tried to ask my two year old this question, but he was far too busy playing in his box – which at that moment was a fire truck. Though I am no longer two myself, I do have some thoughts as to why children love playing with boxes…

  1. Simple – There is no set up required, no batteries needed, no adult help for small pieces.
  2. Allows for Wild Imagination – So many toys today take imagination out of play. Many toys even talk for the child! A cardboard box allows a child’s imagination to be in control. If the child is pretending the box is a fire truck, he or she also has to imagine the siren, etc.
  3. Sparks Creativity – It’s amazing to me that the exact same cardboard box can be a house, a car, and a spaceship all on the same day. You never know what your little one will come up with next!

Ideas for sparking creativity:

If your child happens to be growing tired of his or her box (though this has yet to happen at our house!), there are simple things you can do to spark some creativity and imagination.

  • Add a prop (a blanket, firefighter hat)
  • Turn the box on it’s side
  • Read a book about an ambulance, etc.
  • Take it outside with some paint and brushes and watch your child’s creativity go wild!

A cardboard box can be many things, including the following:

A Vehicle

Try to leave the vehicle as simple as possible.

Consider adding a door, a paper towel roll for adding gas, and a paper plate as a steering wheel.

Keep in mind: If you paint your vehicle red it could limit some creativity as it will likely stay a fire truck.

Box Car

A House

This could be a house for your child or for some little people/dolls.

Consider adding a door and/or windows.

Keep in mind: Throwing a blanket over the box makes a great fort that can quickly be removed, allowing your child’s imagination to “change” the box.

Box House

Puppet Theatre

Younger children will certainly require help.

Consider adding different scenes (that are simple) drawn on paper and make little people out of toilet paper tubes.

Keep in mind: This is an ideal way for young children to practice re-telling familiar stories that they hear.

Fun with Boxes

Sensory Bin

Cardboard boxes can be filled with Cheerios, snow, uncooked pasta, rice… just about anything.

Consider adding diggers to turn that box into a construction site. Another idea is to add toy farm animals for fun on the farm.

Keep in mind: Simply taking out the props and adding new ones will change the entire activity.

Fun Sensory Bin Box

Hundreds of other things:

  • Hats
  • Shoes
  • Stilts
  • Blocks
  • Play Food

Boxes can provide hours of fun for children and it’s really easy to see why: they allow for simple, imaginative, and creative play, which many children (and parents!) greatly enjoy.

This year, save yourself time and money when shopping for gifts for your children – wrap up an empty cardboard box!

Do your children love playing with boxes?


  1. Linda

    Well, I don’t have children, but I have two cats and boy do they love boxes! They love to jump into them and if the box gets knocked over, they scoot their toys into them. 🙂

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