Friday, August 24, 2018

How to Build an Epic Cardboard City With Kids (And our 15+ Favorite Books to Inspire Building)

Looking for an easy and affordable group craft idea?  I recently hosted a cardboard craft event to celebrate the launch of my new cardboard craft book Epic Cardboard Adventures (aff link).  Kids and parents were invited to help me build a cardboard city.  If you're looking for an easy group crafting activity, I really recommend this one.  It's super easy to set up and both adults and kids had a lovely morning of crafty fun!

How to Build an Epic Cardboard City with Kids



How to Host an Epic Cardboard City Building Event:  A fun Recycled Playdate idea!



 Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  This means I make a small bit of change when you purchase items through the links.  Thank you for your support and the grocery money! For my full disclosure policy, click here.


I hosted my event at our library.   Here's how I prepped:

Weeks before the Event:

1.  I put out the call on FB for cardboard.  Some really awesome moms and dads saved their cardboard boxes, rolls, and even yogurt containers for me.  A lot of the cardboard came flat, but some of the smaller items still maintained their shape.  (This variety ended up being great because some kids just like using premade structures while others like making their own designs.)

How to Host an Epic Cardboard City Building Event:  A fun Recycled Playdate idea!

2.  I also started amassing other crafting items.  Here's a bunch of the materials that the library and I jointly provided:

Materials Provided:


  • Thin Cardboard 
    • Like cardboard rolls, egg cartons, and cereal box cardboard (thicker corrugated cardboard would have been too difficult for kids to cut)
  • Scissors
  • Other Recycled items 
    • Yogurt Containers, Bubble Wrap, Lids
  • Other Colorful Paper 
  • Other Craft Items 
  • Drawing Items 
  • Glues/Tapes 


3.  I also asked our librarians to help me locate these building/cardboard craft books.  I wanted to put out a curated selection of books for kids to look through for inspiration.

15+ Awesome Books to Inspire Your Building:




The Week of the Event:

1.  I sorted through all my donations and made sure I had enough fun items to keep kids and adults engaged.

2.  I built a long cardboard stand to hold all the kids' creations.   (Mine just looked like grass and mountains.)

 3.  I also made some sample cardboard people, vehicles, and buildings to provide the kids with inspiration.

How to Host an Epic Cardboard City Building Event:  A fun Recycled Playdate idea!


(Ha! Seeing the grouchy cats driving the red car makes me smile.)

How to Host an Epic Cardboard City Building Event:  A fun Recycled Playdate idea!


4.  I also created a music playlist for the event.  (I don't know about you, but music helps me to focus!)


The Day of the Event:

1.  I put out the cardboard and crafty materials on a long table.  Then, I placed markers, Kwik Stix paints, scissors, pencils, pencils, staplers, and tape on each table for easy access.


2.  I put out the long cardboard display out along with my sample items.  We also put our books nearby.

Parents and kids had a lot of fun making cool creations.  Some of the kids chose to bring their creations home, but enough of them decided to leave their creations at the library.  (They're now being displayed over the craft books in the kids section.)


How to Host an Epic Cardboard City Building Event:  A fun Recycled Playdate idea!



I hope you have a fun time trying out this group crafting idea too.  And if you're looking for more group playdate ideas, check out the links below:

More Fun and Easy Crafty Group Playdate Ideas:

How to Host an Epic Cardboard City Building Event:  A fun Recycled Playdate idea!


How to Host an Epic Cardboard City Building Event:  A fun Recycled Playdate idea!

Happy making, friends!

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