January 28, 2015

Preschool Pretend Play : Cardboard Box City

Preschoolers love playing with very simple toys. Cardboard boxes have entertained preschoolers for generations and they can provide hours of constructive creative play. Preschoolers can use their imagination to create their own cardboard box city as part of a pretend play center in the preschool classroom.

You Need

Cardboard Boxes of all shapes and sizes
Markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils
Wrapping paper, Extra Wall PaperGlue
Carpet Samples
Masking Tape
Empty Paper Towel Rolls

Where to Find Cardboard Boxes

If you do not have extra boxes available to use for this preschool pretend play activity you can easily obtain some by asking around. Many parents of the preschoolers in your class may have extra boxes leftover from a move or large storage items not being used at home and would likely be glad to find some place to get rid of them.

Freecycle has groups all over the country. Find the group closest to your preschool and make a request for extra boxes. This makes it easy to track down boxes for pretend play. All you need to do is pick them up.

Local hardware stores often have leftover refrigerator boxes that they would be happy to donate to a preschool. Most of these large boxes are flattened and thrown away. While boxes of any shape or size are useful and can help your preschoolers build a fun cardboard box city, refrigerator boxes are generally a favorite with preschoolers and would make a wonderful addition to this pretend play activity.

What To Do

Once you have collected all the materials you will need to build your cardboard box city, give the preschoolers free reign to use their imagination. Boxes can be colored, cut, or have things glued to them. Doors and windows can be cut out of large boxes. Preschool teachers or parents may want to help with larger cutting projects so preschoolers do not become frustrating cutting the hard cardboard or hurt themselves.

Preschoolers can glue old wall paper or wrapping paper to the inside or outside of the boxes. Carpet or wallpaper samples can be obtained through local stores simply by asking around. Many times these items are simply thrown away and stores are more than happy to donate their extras.

Use masking tape to tape the boxes together or attach empty toilet paper rolls or other miscellaneous items that preschoolers may want to use. Preschoolers will have fun creating their cardboard city as part of an ongoing pretend play center activity. You can add additional materials each day or provide the preschoolers with everything at once.

About Rachel

Rachel knows what it is like to be busy and worry about balancing everything without losing your sanity. As a homeschooling mom of 6 incredibly different kids, including newborn twins (and one tiny angel who passed away at birth), she's just about seen it all . . . when she isn't too sleep deprived to notice.

Rachel holds a B.A. in English and is a former teacher. She is the creator of Busy Mommy Media and works as a freelance writer from home.


  1. My motto is “You can make pretty much anything out of cardboard.” The possibilities are endless….and fun!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge