Preschool Pretend Play Ideas with Cardboard Boxes

Preschool play spaces are easy to make with recycled cardboard boxes. These large cardboard props immediately become hands-on prompts for pretend play. Support kids creative, fine motor and language skills with kid-size props you can easily make.

recycle cardboard box for kids play idea

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When boxes are kid-size, awesome opportunities for pretend play kick in.

You can create houses, shops, theaters and boats. There is no limit to the creative play you can inspire with a big cardboard box.

Play spaces you build with cardboard boxes support early development skills:

  • cognitive and engineering skills as kids help design and create the space
  • fine motor skills as kids paint, cut and tape to decorate the space
  • gross motor skills as kids climb in and around and out of the props.

Take pretend play to a whole new level with these exciting options you can make for your early learners.


Cardboard box pretend play

Set up fun play spaces with just a few basic craft supplies and lots of imagination. 


20 cardboard box kid size props for pretend play


Cars and Boats and Space Ships

 DIY cardboard box boats and cars for kids pretend play


The Craft Train has created this amazing Noah's Ark to carry animals.

A large box becomes a Roadster in this tutorial here at Preschool Toolkit.

Zoom Zoom in this Race Car Costume from Spaceships and Laser Beams.

Row row row a Rowboat created at Hello Wonderful.

This delightful Fairy Car can be found at The Craft Train.

Create your very own Box Derby Monster like this one at Teach Me Mommy.

Ahoy! All aboard the Pirate Ship made by Red Ted Art.

Countdown to fun with this NASA Space Ship from Sandbox Academy.

These awesome Jet Packs from Fireflies and Mudpies are sure to be a winner.


Around the House


Kid size cardboard houses and props you can make for pretend play


Let the pretend baking begin in Artsy Momma's Cardboard Kitchen .

Take your favorite book to a Castle Reading Nook courtesy of Growing Book by Book.

Build a Gingerbread House with help from The Educators Spin On It.

Sunny Day Family created a Magic Show for awesome magic play.

Playhouse inspires creative play right here at Preschool Toolkit.

Imaginative play is endless in this DIY Cardboard House from Artsy Craftsy Mom.

Pretend camping is inspired with this Tent at Pink Stripey Socks.

Firemen will come to the rescue in imaginative play with this House with Pretend Fire at Teach Me Mommy.

Make a kid-size Bird Nest with help from Mother Natured.

Chores on Laundry Day are fun and easy thanks to The Resourceful Mama.

Red Ted Art show you how to make a Knight's Shield for some historic pretend play.


Puppet Theaters

Adventure in a Box provides the benefit of a print out with this Theater with Printable 

A kid-size prop for puppets like this Cardboard Box Theater here at Preschool Toolkit.

If you want more options for puppet shows try this Theater for Marionettes here at Preschool Toolkit.

Pretend play is awesome with these Backdrops and Puppets from Kiddy Charts.


Cardboard box pretend play props for preschoolers


Post Office Pretend Play

Post office play ideas for kids


Pretend Play on Pinterest



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