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Tips on Constructing with Cardboard

Cardboard construction is one of the most popular activities we do in the Tinkering Studio at the Museum of Discovery, and it can easily be done at home with just a few supplies and a little creativity!

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Scissors
  • At least one cardboard box
  • Box cutter
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Tape
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils*

*If you have other materials for decorating lying around the house (scrapbook paper, paint, stickers, etc.) feel free to use them in this activity!  You are not limited to these materials!

Getting Started:

Any cardboard box can do the trick for this!  In the Tinkering Studio, we like to use cardboard from Amazon boxes, since it’s not too thick or too thin.  For younger learners, we like to use thin pasteboards from things like cereal boxes that are easier to cut with safety scissors.  No matter what type of cardboard box we use, we always break it down and cut it into smaller pieces that are easier to work with before we start building.


Start Constructing!

Decide what you want to build. There is no right or wrong way to make your creation, but once you decide what you are going to make, it may help to draw it out on a sheet of scrap paper first.  Remember, to keep in mind the amount of cardboard you have as it will determine how large or small your creation needs to be. Make sure an adult is around to supervise use of tools like box cutters and hot glue guns.

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