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Must-Have Cardboard Construction Tools for Kids

Thinking of throwing out that old Amazon box? Think again! Cardboard is one of the absolute best building materials for kids, perfect for building houses, clothing, and even homemade creatures! It is versatile, durable, and mostly free - in fact, you probably have plenty lying around the house right now! Recycle it yourself at home and build something magical! 

With just a cardboard box and the right tools, kids can make practically anything their heart desires. Our teachers have spent years perfecting their cardboard skills, and we are so excited to share them with you today! In this blog, we have built a list of our top must-have cardboard construction tools for any at-home maker. Keep reading for our product recommendations, top building techniques, and favorite projects!

Cardboard fries and egg

Right now, we are gearing up for our Maker-topia summer camp, which will be chock-full of cardboard construction projects. Come for our Genius Inventors weeks to make cars, houses, and theme park rides. Later, join us for our Builders and Weavers week to construct the Maker-topia castle! 

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Our Favorite All-Around Cardboard Building Kit:

Makedo Cardboard Construction Kit: Makedo offers versatile tools that make it easy and fun for kids to build anything with cardboard. From simple structures to complex creations, this will help you construct anything!

Tools for Cutting Cardboard:

  • Pro Tip: If students are cutting cardboard with a canary knife or saw, have them lay the cardboard over the edge of a table. They should hold it down with their non-dominant hand, thumbs aligned with the rest of their fingers, and cut with the other hand. Students should never sit while cutting!

  • For class groups: Always, have students draw out with a marker what they intend to cut, so as a teacher you can ensure that their plan is safe and practical.

Canary Knives: Perfect for safely cutting through cardboard. They are designed with kids in mind, ensuring safe and easy use. 

Makedo Safe-Saw: The Makedo Safe Saw has no sharp edges but effectively saws through cardboard, making it a great tool for kids aged 5 and up.

Electric Cutter: For grown-up use, an electric cutter is the easiest way to cut long, straight lines in cardboard. Kids may also use it, with the proper training and adult supervision.

Cardboard Scissors: Bent to avoid getting stuck in the cardboard, these scissors require some strength but are excellent for curved and small cuts.

InvenTABLE: We are thrilled about the upcoming release of the InvenTABLE, a kid-safe cardboard cutting table saw. Pre-order now to get your InvenTABLE this September!

Tools for Connecting Cardboard:

Paper Fasteners: An awl and a paper fastener make for a simple and effective way to connect pieces of cardboard. Paper fasteners are also great for making moveable parts - we love to make puppets with moveable arms and legs!

Makedo Scrus: Makedo Scrus can go through three layers of cardboard, while Scru+ can handle up to six layers. Pair them with the Makedo Scrudriver for easy assembly.

Boxlox Connectors: These connectors clip onto the edges of cardboard to hold pieces together securely.

Tape: Duct tape is strong and durable, though it can be challenging for kids to cut. We recommend masking tape as a great alternative that’s much easier to handle.

Awl: Use this simple pointed tool to poke holes in cardboard for paper fasteners and Makedo Scrus. 

Other Essential Products:

Makedo Fold-Roller: This tool perforates one side of the cardboard, making it easy to fold and create sharp, clean edges.

Cardboard Building Books:

Cardboard Box Engineering Book: This book is chock-full of great building ideas for any age.

Cardboard Creations for Kids Book: Read on for 50 cardboard engineering projects!

Cardboard houses

Cardboard Techniques:

See this techniques board assembled by Forest Learning:

Cardboard construction techniques

Cardboard Construction Projects: 

With these must-have tools and techniques, your kids will be equipped to bring all of their cardboard constructions to life! Sign up for Maker-Topia camp’s Genius Inventors week and Weavers and Builders week to explore the limitless possibilities of cardboard construction!

Happy building!

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