Cardboard box city children's crafts by Mini Mad Things

We had been planning this project for a while. My boy had spotted some big cardboard box city creations on Pinterest and wanted to make one. So we started saving boxes!

In a world of finite resources and growing consumption I love to encourage the creative use of simple recycled materials, like the humble cardboard box, to create play. Encouraging our little ones to re-purpose what they already have is not only great for our planet, it also requires creative thinking to see new possibilities beyond the original purpose, helping our children become the resourceful inventors of the future.


  • Different size cardboard boxes
  • Markers
  • Craft knife
  • Paddle pop sticks, match sticks and dowels (optional)
  • PVA glue
  • Hot glue gun or tape

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The first job I did was to take all the boxes apart, turn them inside out and glue them back together so there is blank cardboard on the outside. This isn't 100% necessary but it just makes the boxes a little nicer to draw on and decorate. Then my boy began drawing all the doors and windows onto each house.

Cardboard box town kids crafts by Mini Mad Things

I then cut out doors and windows for him with a sharp craft knife. The boy then began to assemble the town. Initially we planned to stick all the boxes together but we soon realised it would be much more fun if you could knock the town down and rebuild it in a different way.

up-cycled craft project making a cardboard box city

We then made lots of ladders, sign posts and TV antenna for the town using paddle pop sticks, match sticks and cardboard.

Sign posts and ladders for a cardboard box city

Then assemble your town!

City made from cardboard boxes

Children's craft project making a city from cardboard boxes

Since making this first city, we have done this project a few times. This is our most recent creation: RAINBOW CITY

Cardboard box city children's craft activity


If you love making things with cardboard boxes, you might like UNBOXED; our new kids craft book all about the creative adventures you can have with cardboard boxes!


Unboxed: Adventures in cardboard fun kids craft book