Cardboard box play: make an imaginary land

cardboard box play
Never mind the contents, empty cardboard boxes are such treasures. My daughters have been know to ‘reserve’ cardboard boxes as they arrive, especially if they are extra big or unusual shapes. This weekend there were no squabbles as the packaging for two fold-up camping tables provided them each with a big cardboard boxes they could create with.

Cardboard box play: make an imaginary land

cardboard box play

The girls opened out the cardboard boxes to create a long canvass to draw on.

cardboard box play

They used wax crayons, pencils and oil pastels to draw their lands – no paint as my girls want to play with what they make straight away, not hang around waiting for things to dry!

cardboard box play

They often have ideas that come up time and time again in their art and play – magical forests, oceans, volcanoes and places where dragons live.

cardboard box play
They added in the clay models they’d made the day before as extra props to their imaginary land, giving them little characters to go exploring with.
cardboard box play
Beware the dragon!

What land could your children create? This combination of art and play can stretch imaginations and lead into hours of play. If you don’t have a big piece of cardboard a roll of paper would work just as well – from an easel, a roll of baking paper, or wallpaper or lining paper.

More play ideas

If your kids like cardboard boxes they might like to make a jungle, marble run or a robot.

If your kids like models they might like to make some salt dough creatures.

If your kids love big art, why not try some large scale painting.

Kids Art Explorers: Paper Free Art

This cardboard box art is part of our Kids Art Explorers project, which this month is going Paper Free. You don’t always have to start art projects with a small white piece of paper! Take inspiration from all the other families joining in and try some Paper Free Art with your kids.


  1. says

    We’ve known for years when you buy a child a gift, they usually play with the box longer than the gift itself:) ha ha – From their drawings you can tell they’re often exposed to drawing materials. The amount of fine detail takes practice. What a simple but engaging activity.

  2. says

    I love this! Your girls are so creative! I’ve taken down the roll of paper from the easel before and rolled it out for my son to go wild with. He’s only 3 though, so no magical lands just yet!

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