Ah, the blank canvas of a cardboard box… the possibilities are endless! In this Thinkery at Home activity, we invite children and families to use recycled materials to build their very own Cardboard Sculptures!
Staple items of Spark Shop, Thinkery’s makerspace, include recycled materials — especially cardboard. This strong, but easily transformable material has played a starring role in many of our maker activities, from designing cardboard costumes to building up a cardboard city.
Cardboard and other recycled materials that Thinkery uses are all generously donated by neighbors and community members like you! We accept material donations whenever the museum is open. Currently, we are not accepting material donations due to the museum closure, but you can learn more about what to donate when the time comes by clicking here. In the meantime, put your cardboard collection to use by exploring this multipurpose material.
Besides the versatility that cardboard offers there are several other reasons why we love this stuff!
- One person’s recyclables may become another person’s art medium! Not only does this invite us to practice conserving Earth’s resources and looking for ways to breathe new life into common household objects, but some of the most beautiful and unique art has been made from upcycling cardboard.
- Connecting, disconnecting, & reconnecting the notched cardboard pieces allows children the opportunity to strengthen their motor and language skills, while practicing choice and decision making. Each of these skills carries over into other parts of life.
- The open-ended exploration of any material allows your child to build beneficial habits of mind, including
- Creative thinking – “I wonder if I can make a _____ with these pieces?”
- Problem-solving – “My sculpture keeps falling over. How might I keep it standing up?”
- Design thinking – “I want to build a _____. First, I will do this. Next, I’ll do that!”
This flexible and fluid process allows a child’s curiosity and creativity to guide them, making the outcome more authentic. So be sure to check out the activity guide for more ways to support your child’s development and for more ways to go further with this ever-expanding activity!
We would love to see what you make: share your cardboard sculpture photos or videos with us on social media. Be sure to tag #thinkeryatx and #thinkeryathome to share your creations with our Thinkery community. Happy building!