DIY Toy: Cardboard City
- 1 large cardboard box for the base, flattened
- Various sized cardboard boxes, things like cereal boxes, empty food boxes, paper cups…
- Hot Glue
- Duct tape
- Matchbox cars, animal figures, rocks, strawberry baskets for fences, clothespins, pipe cleaners, anything you can think of!
- Starting with the flattened cardboard box, lay down the duct tape to make roads and define building lots.
- Using hot glue start gluing boxes down in different “lots”. Stack boxes to make skyscrapers.
- Start painting! We used a bunch of quality but very old acrylic paints I had lying around. We painted the buildings white to cover over the information on the boxes. I then added painted windows. My daughter added all the abstract painting.
- Once things start coming together you and your children can start designating certain buildings to be things like the hospital, bank, jail etc. and add details to match. My kids wanted a cemetery, oh my, so we made little fences out of strawberry baskets. My son is also obsessed with all things battleship so we made a port with a lighthouse complete with real rocks we collected at the beach.
- Keep adding to it! This is an ongoing project at our house. You can add new sections to the city with additional flattened boxes. And have fun with the details. We used clothespins with bent green pipe cleaners for trees, hardened and painted playdough bushes, furniture leg felt stickers for a clock tower….Let it grow and evolve!
Soon enough your kids will ask to start playing with the city. We brought in an armful of matchbox cars, a helicopter, and a bunch of plastic animals. This inspired our zoo that is still in the works.Kids will find all sorts of ways to play with their new city! At one point we added dinosaurs and a Jurassic park, later a giant octopus and some zombies made an appearance to wreak havoc on the city. Enjoy!
- For more DIY Toys here on Babble Dabble Do check out: Zappy Zoomers, Paper Helicopters, and Tin Can Stilts!
- If you enjoyed this project be sure to check out the new eBook Zero to Two: The Book of Play. I was lucky to be a contributor to this book jam packed full of art and activities for babies and toddlers. Click on the photo below to order or check out this post with a sneak peek- you can have a copy in the next five minutes if you want!
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