Arts and crafts

Playgroup Idea: Cardboard Playhouse


This house has been through a lot.

When I had only been working with Pearl for a few weeks her parents had received a huge package. I had no clue what was in it but the minute they came home I asked, “Could I….have that box?” I tried to hide my bated breath.

The thing is, it’s rare to come by a box that big and my lip might have even been quivering when I asked. A box like that can transform into hundreds of great things for play. Without any hesitation they said “Sure!”

The minute Pearl went down for her nap I got to work. What should the box be made into? A space ship? An ice cream shop? A car? Then I saw an amazing cardboard playhouse on Girl With a Glue Gun.  Of course! What kid doesn’t want to feel like they have their own mini home where they can hide, read books, eat snacks, and just hang out and feel like the head honcho at home.

A few days later and we had this beauty:


I’m not sure what I’m more proud of, my bachelor’s or this cardboard house. Although I never did get to making the flower boxes I wanted. Hmm…

After the initial discovery of this new object in the playroom, Pearl had no idea what to do with it. She just stared at it and was afraid to go inside. Then we just sort of moved on.

Months later, Pearl became more interested in painting and she wanted to put the paint brush everywhere. She held the wet paint brush up and looked at the house interestedly.  That’s when I knew what I had to do. The giant cardboard box had been something I patched up for her, instead of with her. Things had to turn around for it to be truly valuable to her.

So I let her paint all over it. We actually both sat in the house to paint the inside yellow when I discovered we had company…a giant daddy long legs was inches away from my leg. We (I) screamed and got out.

And when we got tired of drawing on it, we invited some friends over to help too. And now, though it’s not the beauty I first dreamt of, it’s so much more.


Now that’s teamwork. We used sponge hearts, glue, glitter paint, chalk, dot markers, and Chunkie brand pastels to cover this thing with love. Our friends who helped are so appreciated for participating in this fun group project.


It might seem like a lot of work but all you really need is a giant box and something to bind the flaps. I used scissors to cut out the windows, though an Xacto would probably work best, and duct tape and a glue gun to keep the folds in place.

I cut out some cardboard petals from the piece that I cut out for windows and had Pearl paint them each. Since Pearl has a deep love of buttons I glued some giant buttons for th center of the flowers. If you have time I recommend giving it a good base paint to get rid of the boring cardboard brown and transform it to an object of play. It’s amazing what a coat of paint will do!


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