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Cardboard creations

Using only cardboard and your imagination, what can you build?

You will need

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Pens or pencils
  • Scrap paper
  • Glue
  • Sticky tape

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Ask everyone to bring in clean cardboard that would normally have been recycled. If you’ve got space, you could build a collection over a few weeks. You could also ask local businesses or supermarkets to save some cardboard for your group. Ensure that everything that you are using can be recycled after the activity.
  • Make sure that there is adequate supervision for participants using sharp objects or scissors.

Set the scene

The person leading the activity should explain that participants will be using the cardboard to create something brand new. We have included some examples below of the different ways you could run this activity.

Get building

  1. Everyone should take some paper and pens and consider the aim of their build. This can be done in pairs, teams or individually, depending on which activity scenario you have chosen from the options suggested.
  2. Everyone should consider the materials they have available. They need to think about how they can transform the cardboard to match their plan by cutting and sticking different pieces together.
  3. They will want to create the larger basic structures of their design first, before starting to add in more details.
  4. Make sure there is enough time for everyone to admire what they have all made. Once everyone has made their creations, the person leading the activity should ask everyone what their favourite creation was, apart from their own, and why.


This activity needed everyone to use their creativity, teamwork and communication skills, especially when their ideas didn’t always work.

Consider how everyone approached the challenge. Did everyone start building on their own? Did anyone plan before they started? If so, how well did they stick to their plan? Did the plan change?

What did they do to solve the problems? It can be frustrating when things don’t go quite right, so it’s great if people kept going and gave it another go.

This activity helped everyone to develop skills. People should take it in turns to share what they enjoyed most about this activity. Their answers may include using their imagination, problem solving, turning their ideas into a reality, listening to other people’s ideas and working as a team.

Now that everyone’s had a turn at using both their imaginations and their constructions skills, who knows what they’ll be able to do next! Everyone should think about when else it might be helpful to use their imagination to build and fix things.


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Glue and solvents

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

Rubbish and recycling

All items should be clean and suitable for this activity.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts