Cardboard Playhouse Fun

Activity: Cardboard Box Playhouse

Cardboard boxes have been one of most popular play toys for as long as we can remember. Remember when you were a kid and your favorite truck or dollhouse was made out of a cardboard box? This simple material can be used to create a wide variety of playthings. Here is a guide to creating the coolest cardboard playhouse for your kids to decorate and play in.

What you will need:
Large cardboard box
Scissors or utility knife
Primer and latex paints
Poster board
Towels or blankets (if desired)

Pre-Activity (for parents): First, use the utility knife or scissors to cut off the top of the box. When finished, flip the box over so that the open side is on the floor. Cut a door out of the side and make sure that one side of the door is still attached so it can swing open and closed like a real door. Next, cut out two windows on the opposing sides of the box. If your kids would like to paint the house a certain color, coat the outside of the box with primer and allow drying before painting it with the color of their choice. Allow the paint to try completely before moving on. Cut four rectangular sections out of poster board to create shutters for the windows or use old blankets, tablecloths or towels for curtains.

For the Kids: Now, let your kids have fun and use the acrylic paints to decorate with whatever designs, colors and fixtures they want on the house. If paint is not an option, use markers, crayons or colored pencils to draw designs onto the house or cut fixtures out of colored construction paper. Glitter always adds a nice touch to flowers or grass on the outside.

Post-Activity: To create the roof, tape either a blanket or tablecloth over the top, or maybe even another piece of cardboard. Then let your child fill the house with blankets, pillows, toys and whatever else he or she desires and watch them play all day in their new home.

Here are some tips regarding your cardboard home:

  • Remove any staples or packing tape that may stick to skin or hair

  • Pencil the design onto the box before cutting

  • A utility knife cuts easier and more precisely than scissors: Remember parents that this is only for you to do! Safety first.  

  • Score the design first without cutting all way through. If it is to your child’s liking, then make the complete cuts

  • Paint can always be used instead of cutting. Be sure all painting and cutting are done on protected surfaces.

  • Wrapping paper can be used for wallpaper; aluminum foil will look like metal; paper towel and tissue holders can become jail bars or other decorative ornaments.

  • Duct tape works well for connecting several boxes together

Directions taken from: