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Six Ways to Use Up-Cycled Cardboard for Earth Day STEM Projects

Updated: Apr 25

Don’t throw away that cardboard! There are countless hands-on projects for young learners that can be done with up-cycled cardboard. Before you throw out those empty Amazon boxes, pizza boxes, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, etc., consider saving them for a subject-aligned project-based learning activity (just in time for Earth Day!). There are even kid-safe cardboard construction tools that will help bring young innovator ideas to life!

Discovering these kid-safe Cardboard Construction tools was a GAME-CHANGER! Avoid the frustrations young innovators have with working with cardboard by providing them with these tools:

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Cardboard Construction Tools:

Fold-Roller: Sculpt and perforate cardboard pieces

Scru-Driver: Connect pieces of cardboard

Mini-Tool: Safely punch holes into cardboard

Safe-Saw: Effectively cut through cardboard (safe for small hands)

Check out the kits here, and get 10% off your order with code JANIS10

6 Cardboard Construction Ideas for Kids:

  1. Rube Goldberg Machine: Students apply their science knowledge of Simple Machines, Force, and Energy to build a complex chain-reaction machine that completes a simple task. They can use these kid-safe tools to cut, perforate, fold, and connect the cardboard pieces. Make it a competition, and have students work in teams or independently. 

2. Create Your Own Game Board: Students create their own educational board game inspired by some of the classics. Math-focused games work great for these!

3. Market Day: Students create a structure for their shop with a sign, shelves, and displays for their handmade products. They can also use the cardboard to design their own unique products!

4. 3D Cardboard Art: Students cut, fold, arrange, and paint cardboard pieces to create an abstract or geometric piece of art. They can dip the edges in Elmer’s Glue or use these cardboard connector pieces. Encourage kids to get creative by making artwork using recycled materials. 

5. Carnival Games: Students create carnival games such as Plinko, Ring Toss, Punch-a-Cup, Beanbag Toss, etc. for family and friends.  

6. Writing Reflection: Integrate an Earth Day writing reflection after one of these projects using this interactive Earth Day Emoji Writing template! A writing checklist and engaging emoji pieces guide students through the writing process in a fun and meaningful way. 

Want more ideas?

Makedo has a complete library of subject-aligned cardboard projects with step-by-step directions, photo examples, and STEM challenges! You can also find all of their kid-safe construction tools on their website. These tools are a GAMECHANGER… and you will avoid all of that frustration kids have with working with cardboard. Get 10% off your order with code: JANIS10

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3 comentários

Christina Huang
Christina Huang
22 de abr.

I am planning to do Create your own board game with my Multiple Language Learners because it will involve lots of speaking and writing - and reading each other's game instructions. Achieves our learning goals and the fun is the icing on the cake!


These look awesome! I am thinking about trying out the carnival games and connecting it to probability with my 6th graders!

Respondendo a

I love the carnival games, but maybe trying out the Goldberg idea too! State testing is Thursday and needing a fun project afterwards.

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