Cardboard Challenge – Research-Backed, At-Home Activities – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Cardboard Challenge

Use a box to think outside-the-box! Work with your child to construct a one-of-a-kind creation using cardboard boxes of various sizes, and then make up a narrative to go with it.

Learning Goals:
  • Be Curious
  • Learn to Collaborate
  • Come Up with Ideas and Try Them Out
Materials Required:
  • Cardboard boxes of different sizes and shapes
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape or painter’s tape
  • Household recyclables (e.g. egg cartons, plastic containers, etc.)
  • Craft supplies for decorating (e.g. markers, pipe cleaners, buttons, aluminum foil, etc.)
  • Together with your child, brainstorm ideas for a cardboard creation. If you need help getting started, consider these questions:
    • What could the creation do?
    • What could the creation look like?
    • What size box do you want to start with?
  • Build your creation using the various boxes, recyclable materials, and tape as needed.
  • Let your child decorate their creation using the craft materials you’ve collected.
  • Encourage your child to create a narrative to go along with their creation. Ask them to consider questions like, What does it do? Who can use it? How does it work?
Tips for Adults:
  • Start with structural materials like firm cardboard pieces.  Once the basic design is done, add flourishes using materials such as paint, fabric, paper, or washi tape.
  • Follow your child’s lead and interest: this project could take ten minutes, or it might stretch on for weeks.  Allowing your child to return to their work over time helps deepen their learning.
  • Don’t do it for them! It’s ok to let your child’s idea fail- this provides important opportunities to reflect, learn and grow.


Support BADM during COVID-19

Bay Area Discovery Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing children with research-backed early learning experiences that inspire creative problem solving. We need your help now more than ever.

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