20 Amazing Ways A Customized Cardboard Box Can Be The Best Toy

Oh, the cardboard box, a baby’s first toy, and a cat’s best friend.  You probably have a least one cardboard box in your house now that is ready to be thrown out, instead of throwing it out, make it into a customized cardboard box and the best (and cheapest) toy ever! A cardboard box can literally be a toy, a car, a hiding spot, or a place to get creative.

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1. Turn it into a car-Whether you push your child around the house in their new “car” or they push their stuffed animals around.  This easy, customized cardboard box toy is not only easy to make, they can even help decorate their car however they wish.

2. A hiding spot-If you have ever played hide and seek with a child, you know they always hide in the most obvious spots.  So make it a game and make your customized cardboard box into the most fun hiding spot.  You can even cut a little peephole out and let them see who is coming so they can give them an extra fright! 

3. Flatten it and use it for an arts and crafts project-Get out the craft box ad let your kids go wild.  Paint, cut, stamp, glue, this customized cardboard box will allow your kids to use their imaginations and create whatever they want. With no boundaries, you can let their little brains work their magic as they create to their heart’s content.

4. Create a Farm-Start by flattening the box and outline the farm-barn, tractor, house, farmland, pastures, etc.  Once you outline it all, everyone will have a chance to fill in the pictures and create the farmland they want.  Add little figurines, dried plants/flowers, and even glue dirt or hay down for an authentic yet customized cardboard box.

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5. Cut the top off and put balls in it for ball pen-This customized cardboard box, is another quick way to create a new place for play and to turn the box into a toy.  Simply cut the top off and throw a bunch of balls in it for a makeshift ball pen! It is a simple way to use that huge box that otherwise just would have ended up in the trash bin.

6. Turn it into a makeshift play stove-A few circles for the grills, a couple of knobs, and a door for the oven easily turns an ordinary cardboard box into a customized cardboard box oven. Have them play restaurant, order food, and see what they come up with.

7. Cut holes in it and connect boxes together for a tunnel-Let the kids help create the tunnels themselves, even offer a bunch of masking tape to secure together. This is a great way to make a customized cardboard box tunnel, and can easily be done outside as well.

8. Use it in an obstacle course-Kids have endless amounts of energy and we will know that we need to help them find a way to use it.  By creating an obstacle course and using cardboard boxes you can have them help you create the course and easy to rearrange boxes as they go. From steps to tunnels to boxes to jump over, the possibilities are endless.

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9. Create a cardboard playhouse-Depending on your level of crafting, Life by Leanna has the cardboard house of any kid or adult’s dreams. With a little creativity, paint, and some bonding time this customized cardboard box is more than just a toy.

10. Racecar track-All you need for this customized cardboard box, are some markers and imagination.  Flatten your cardboard box, draw the race track and add fun elements such as plants, bridges, pit stop, and some landscaping.  Then let the games begin!

11. Put markers/crayons or paint inside for a contained art time-Arts & Crafts time is great, but the mess that it can make is not as great. Maybe you let them go wild with the glitter or use the real paint, not just the safe watercolor paints. Just make sure you are okay with taking a bath right after!

12. Create a costume out of it-Transformer, robot or even a popcorn container are all ways to make a customized cardboard box costume!  Have your child help with the construction and decorations for this fun and “easy” Halloween costume idea.

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13. Create a car garage-If your kid has a bunch of toy cars, creating a customized cardboard box car garage will make their day. You might need to break out a few more supplies for this activity, but the end result will be a customized cardboard box car garage that will last for longer than the box did en route to you.

14. Make a cat toyNot sure who loves boxes more-kids or cats, either way, if you have a cat, this box can be their new favorite hiding spot. Cut holes in it, decorate it how you want, and put it in your cat’s favorite location.

15. Cut out shapes and use them outside as stencils with chalk-Most stencils are pretty small for tiny hands, you can make huge birds, dogs, or butterflies and let your little ones fill in the animals as they go.

16. Create a cardboard chalkboard-With a little chalkboard paint, you can have your own DIY chalkboard.

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17. Make a fort-Those big cardboard boxes can easily be transformed into a customized cardboard box toy and fort of their dreams.  Cut holes for windows, a door and if you have enough boxes (and the space) you can have different rooms.

18. Create animal cut outs-Then use when the sun goes down as “puppets” to tell a story before bedtime.

19. Make a ramp for toy cars, balls etc.-Kids love to make things move and this customized cardboard box ramp will entertain them for hours.

20. Make a stand-up track-Ready, set, and GOOOO! This might be the easiest one yet, cut off the largest side of the box, keep “side rails” if you wish. Draw some lanes and let the cars race down, the first one to the finish line wins. Use a ribbon as the finish line for an added element.


Creating a customized cardboard box doesn’t have to be difficult, you can create the simplest toy in a matter of minutes. If you have the time and that DYI bug in you, then you might just be creating that cardboard box playhouse. Either way, with these ideas both you and your kiddos will have a blast with something that was otherwise trash.

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Photo Credits: Unsplash, Life by Leanna, Pexels

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Sabra Ritterhttp://www.mybeautifulchaosblog.com
A former full time event planning and marketing guru, turned stay-at-home mom turned blogger. Mom of two toddler girls, who are always keeping her on her toes. On the weekends you can find her at Southern California beaches or hiking with her family. Sabra loves to cook and is always creating something new!

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