With more and more of us now spending an ever-increasing amount of time in our homes, the definition of the good old’ bricks and mortar retail therapy has certainly changed!

Bring in online shopping as the new retail therapy! So whilst we are getting used to signing in parcel deliveries every day, don’t discard those cardboard packages just yet; instead, here are a few easy and engaging ideas to keep your little ones entertained with the humble brown box, from toddlers to preschoolers!

Cardboard Marble Maze

Source: https://www.tackyliving.com/

A simple yet fun activity to keep those toddlers engaged for hours! 

Things you will need:

  • A horizontal cardboard box (the bigger the better)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Kitchen paper towel holders
  • Markers and colour pens
  • Glue
  • And of course, a marble or small bouncy ball

To begin with, layout your popsicle sticks and let your creativity take over! Use your markers and colour pens to draw designs on these. Next, on your big horizontal cardboard box layout the Kitchen paper towel holders to make tunnels and your popsicle sticks to make obstacles.

Once you are happy with the layout, glue these on. Don’t forget to create a start and endpoint for your bouncy ball to navigate the maze.

Variation: For the racing enthusiasts, why not try making a cardboard race track maze! Ready set go with your little wheely cars to see who reaches the end first!


Cardboard house 

Source: https://artprojectsforkids.org/little-cardboard-houses/

Toddlers would love playing builder for the day and build a clever cardboard house!

Things you will need:

Depending on the type of house you have in mind,

  • Cardboard box or pieces
  • Glue
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Markers or colour pens

Start by cutting out 12″ squares to make the frame of the house. 2 Side roofs and 4 walls. Use masking tape to bring the four side walls together and glue on the roof.

Cut out smaller cardboard pieces to stick on the frame of the house as windows and doors. Now using your colour markers, let the fun begin decorating and colouring the house!


Circle Art

Source: https://teaching2and3yearolds.com/easy-toddler-shapes-activity-paper-tubes/

A fun easy way to encourage creativity in toddlers with just a few readily available things!

Things you will need:

  • Cardboard and Kitchen paper towel holder
  • Paints
  • Paper plates
  • Tins of different sizes, lids or tubes

Start by pouring out your paint colours on different paper plates. Now dip your tins, lids or tunes in different paints to stamp on your cardboard to create your very own piece of art!


Analogue DIY clock

A clever little activity not only to encourage the little human being to become more crafty but also teach them the concept of time!

For step by step instructions click here: 



A colourful Aquarium

Source: https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/cereal-box-aquarium/

A personal favourite; the colourful aquarium offers endless fun and possibilities when it comes to unleashing the inner artist in toddlers or preschoolers.

Kids can choose practically everything to make up their aquarium; the colour of the fish, type of fish, and accessories to go in the aquarium.

Things you will need:

  • A cardboard box, preferably rectangle to replicate a real aquarium
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Coloured craft paper
  • Kinetic sand or real beach sand
  • Shells
  • Scissors 
  • Glue
  • Some Googly eyes
  • String

Start by gluing together three sides of the cardboard box. For the fourth side, use a marker to make lines and cut out the centre of the cardboard. Now glue on the fourth side. This should now replicate a cereal box with the centre cut out of one side.

Now starts the fun bit! Using your paint and brushes, go wild painting the aquarium. Start with the outer frame and then paint in with blue for the water. Now start decorating! Using the different coloured construction paper or pieces of cardboard, draw and then cut out the elements of the aquarium; sea plants and fish.

Remember to glue on some googly eyes so your fish can see where they are swimming! Pour some kinetic sand or real sand if you can get some to form a base.

Now add some seashells and stick in the sand your cardboard sea plants. Attach string to the back of each fish with the other end of the string attached to the top of your cardboard box.

Variation: Why just stop with fish, think about including some other sea creatures in your aquarium like a Sea Horse or an Octopus!

There you have it! A fun and educational aquarium that can be useful to teach preschoolers all about the marine world and the importance of preservation.