Toys That Require Imagination . . . Cardboard

Kids are naturally wired to play and imagine. But when we (I’m guilty of this myself) give them tons of toys that do everything, they don’t need to imagine anything. So give your kids a cardboard challenge – to find the hidden objects in the boxes like Michelangelo did with blocks of granite. The boxes require imagination. They won’t do anything without it.

It’s NOT a box, but it might be . . .

ticket booth



marble run (Zoobles run)


Read the Not a Box picture book by Antoinette Portis for more inspiration!

And check out these fun ideas for “Not a Box”! (Click on the photo to go to the sites.)

So save your cardboard boxes and makes something Not a Box-ish! I wonder what you’ll make?


  1. says

    Recently, my kiddos found some boxes and had a blast! Makes me so happy when they are creating… you can just hear and see the pure joy of it. A box is not a box .. it is an airplane, Sponge Bob pants, and a mail truck!! :)

    ps. I’m so guilty of way too many toys. Thanks for the reminder- need to scale down. The house is overwhelmed.


  2. Jeri says

    Our daughter (7 years old) loves to make “rooms” out of boxes. She takes different sized (mostly shoe) boxes and makes one a bathroom, one a kitchen, bedroom ect. She stacks them or pushes them against the wall for her Barbie house. She even “wallpapered” a bedroom using pretty stationary. It keeps her entertained for hours. She has the Barbie Dream house, but it goes untouched.

  3. Laurie says

    My six year old loves her boxes. She loves animals so most of her creative play involves building a vet center or a pet shop. She stacks her boxes and puts her animals in them and has boxes for the animals’ feed and toys. She sets up her cash register and then we take turns visiting her with our “sick animals” and our requests to buy pets. Her favorite toy right now is a huge box that my new carpet cleaner came in.

  4. Kyla Moore says

    Kids are highly imaginative, they can create things that is out of the box. I love the cartoon guitar and the oven too. It’s cool yet useful.


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