Cardboard Building Challenges

Our February 14, 2017, meeting combined cardboard building challenges with a discussion about multi-generational programming.

First, the cardboard challenges! Cardboard challenges can be completely open-ended or structured. Ways to structure a cardboard challenge include using materials besides cardboard, limiting the amount of time allowed to build, and specifying the height, weight, or end goal of the challenge. Does everyone need to build a structure that two people can sit in? Or does their cardboard creation need to solve a real world problem?

At the meeting, attendees built with cardboard boxes to solve real world problems. We used saws from Make-Do and utility shears, along with trusty duct tape.

Here’s a selection of our cardboard creations.

A ramp for a dog with a bad back


A cardboard castle that keeps little kids so busy that they stay out of the area for older kids


A conveyor from couch to trash can to encourage teens to clean up after themselves


Here are some links with background on cardboard challenges (did you know there’s a whole day devoted to it?!) and project ideas.

The next cardboard activity focused on building with small cardboard squares.


There are few different ways you could use this idea in a program.  Make your own set of cardboard squares to take home or to give away.  Run a challenge with the squares to build the tallest or sturdiest structure.  You can also leave the squares out for kids or teens to create with anytime or just  use them for an open build program.

Wondering about the theory behind a project like this? It builds spatial reasoning skills and math skills.

Here are some additional ideas for cardboard squares:

The last cardboard activity combined cardboard and Makey Makeys.  You can make cardboard game controllers, musical instruments and more. There are a ton of ideas on the Makey Makey website.



Questions? Contact


One thought on “Cardboard Building Challenges

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s