BKLK_92_featured image_Cardboard Box Maze Dad activity for toddlers kids children girls boys_spring summer outdoor indoor fun_build construct learn play

Cardboard Box Maze – Spring & Summer Fun: Dad+DIY

Spring is here! But what are you going to do with the kids now that they’re running around like Energiser bunnies and going mental? It turns out that dangling them from the hills hoist and getting the dog to spin them around for hours is frowned upon (at least, that’s what the police told me). We’re going to need to get a little DAD-CRAFTY!

I’ve got some big cardboard boxes and a whole lot of parent-needs-down-time enthusiasm! Let’s whip them into an awesome CARDBOARD BOX MAZE for the munchkins to lose their minds in.

BKLK_92_aerial view of child playing with construction_Cardboard Box Maze_outdoor or indoor dad activity for toddlers kids girls boys

Grab these:

  • As many large cardboard boxes as you can find
  • A couple of rolls of packing tape OR
  • Makedo ‘Make Anything’ kit

I’ve got no blueprint or instruction guide for you here because it’s a go nuts approach that will create the best play-maze. We’re all about connecting the boxes and seeing how many interesting hidey-holes or pop-up areas you can make.

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Packing tape works the best, as it’s super strong and will battle valiantly against your childrens’ rough and tumble playing. But you can also use a pre-fab construction kit like I did. It comes with a plastic, safe-around-minors tool (hole punch & cardboard saw), hinges and connectors.

BKLK_92_Makedo connectors_corner joint_Cardboard Box Maze_outdoor or indoor dad activity for toddlers kids girls boys

The big upside to these plastic kits is that they can be reused, which allows me to pretend to be an environmental superhero. Plus, ripping apart all of that packing tape when you’re tidying up is just exhausting.

Here are a few builder’s tips to get you cardboard constructing:

  • Put the boxes on their side. Join the open bottom of one box to the open top of another. This limits the amount of cutting you need to do and is, well, easier.

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  • Put in at least one corner. A straight tube of cardboard is only fun for so long, but a corner means that hide & seek will make its DIY debut.

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  • Grab a box cutter. An easy way to make a corner is to cut a doorway into the side of one of the boxes and then jam the open end of another box up to it. Instant corner.

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  • Install some light wells. If your box maze becomes quite long it’s also going to get pretty dark on the inside. Fix this by creating peaked roofs. Just join two adjoining box flaps into an A-shape.

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  • Create a Jack-In-The-Box lookout spot. Turn one of your boxes the right way up so that the open end is on top. Cut a door into one side and join to your maze. This becomes an open-topped place where the kids can pop-up or look around from.

BKLK_92_dad and son having fun playing in the sun_Cardboard Box Maze_outdoor or indoor dad activity for toddlers kids girls boys

  • Windows are great for scaring the kids. Although your light wells will provide enough illumination, cut some small windows into the sides of some of the boxes. Sure, it’s cute as all get out when their little cherub faces peek out cheekily, but that’s nothing on how much fun it is to reach in suddenly and grab them. Terrified toddler screams! He he he.

BKLK_92_child holds kid safe plastic cardboard saw through carved window_Cardboard Box Maze_outdoor or indoor dad activity for toddlers kids girls boys


This story was originally published in the Peninsula Kids Magazine – Winter 2015. Click here to check out the whole digital issue for free!

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David Hawkins

Half nerd, all Dad & Founder of Big Kid Little Kid, the go-to blog for Awesome Dads. David is on a personal mission to become a more awesome dad to his two sons and teach them all the facets of being a major nerd. NES-off anybody?
  • Vilma

    Fantastic! Why didn’t we think of doing that right after we moved?!

    • David Hawkins

      I’m getting the boxes from my in-laws move ready for version 2!

  • OMG I so want you to be my dad (sorry that sounds a little creepy doesnt it) but i want to come and crawl through that box maze!!!! Pretty please!!! xx

    • David Hawkins

      Maybe I could open up a rent-a-dad business? The box maze was awesome fun… and I think Little E enjoyed it too. Will have to fold it all flat and FedEx it up to you!

  • Tash from Gift Grapevine

    Love your go-nuts approach David! This looks like so much fun and that pre-fab construction kit looks like the way to go. Here’s hoping any Spring rain stays away so you can avoid a soggy cardboard effect! That and I hope you don’t have any sprinklers timed to go on…

    • David Hawkins

      It’s always raining here in Melbourne Tash! Luckily the Makedo kit is quick to disassemble too so those old cardboard boxes are back in the garage awaiting the next dry spell.