Creative DIY Cardboard Models for Kids

Guide kids into DIY projects with cardboard designs that turn into toys.

Creative DIY Toys

Take a break from screen time and help get a child interested in DIY. Not only will children learn valuable skills to last a lifetime, DIY projects can be done with parents, grandparents and other family members. And kids will love these 12 gift ideas.

Cardboard Building Projects

The Calafant Activity Models sold on the website Danish by Design start off as a fun cardboard building project. When finished, they become toys. The models come in 10 designs — things like castles, pirate ships, a treehouse, a robot, pony farm and a doll house — and need to be constructed. This will take some attention to detail and concentration, but the interlocking tabs make it easy for even small hands. There is no glue or tape required.

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Once the model is built, it’s time to decorate. Models for level one and two give guidance for decorating, but model three level kits leave the decorating up to the creator’s imagination. Try using watercolor paints, colored pencils, markers and even stickers and glitter to decorate the model. When the decorating phase is completed, the toy is ready for hours of fun.

These DIY toy kits make unique gifts because they offer several stages of play that can be done in one sitting or over several sessions, either alone or with a partner. If you want to get creative with your new DIYer, check out these 13 parent/child DIY projects!

More about Danish by Design

In 2001, the company Danish by Design began featuring stylish and modern designer nursery furniture items, infant products and toys based on craftsmanship and innovation. The products sold are designed to be versatile, long-lasting and a great value. Get your creative juices flowing with these 14 super-fun DIY projects great for all ages.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.