Global Cardboard Challenge

Got cardboard? Tape? Creative students? If so, you are ready to join makers from all over the world on October 1, 2016, as they design and build in the Global Cardboard Challenge.

The challenge began with the heart-warming story of an incredibly creative boy who built an arcade with boxes he found in his father’s auto parts shop. If you haven’t watched the story, grab a few teacher friends, and enjoy the inspiring short film together. The video is a treat that you will want to share and watch again!

Bring the Global Cardboard Challenge to Your School

Are you feeling inspired and excited about being a  part of the Global Cardboard Challenge? If so, here are a few ideas and resources to get you started:

  • First, start by inviting teachers to participate in the event.
  • Then, gather resources for the children to spark a discussion of what they can make with cardboard. I have a few suggestions below.
  • Plan a day for the challenge. It is on a Saturday this year, and we want to build during school hours, so we are moving the day to Friday, September 30th.
  • Next, recruit parents to help. They will be the official box cutters.
  • Locate a large space for the children to create and build.
  • Add extra time for those who want to redesign or finish their creations. 

Resources to Inspire Box Creations


“Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis

This is the perfect book to help generate the possibilities a cardboard box has to offer. The reader might think the rabbit in this story is playing with a box, but the rabbit categorically denies that he is playing with a box. Instead, the rabbit shows the reader that he is riding in a hot air balloon, putting out a building fire, riding an elephant and rocketing off to the moon. Portis uses red ink to illustrate what the rabbit sees, and the illustrations will definitely spark more ideas from children who are excited to build.



“The Quiet Place” by Sarah Stewart

This book has great potential for a few different lessons. Children will love the fold-out page at the end of the book where, spoiler alert, we see the cardboard house that the main character, Isabel, builds. This story is also a valuable mentor text for writing letters and it also offers solace to children moving to America from another country.





Pinterest aggregates many examples of what we can create with boxes. I made this shadow box for our library after finding it on Pinterest.






Learn more about Cain’s Arcade and the Global Cardboard Challenge by watching Part 2 of  Cain’s story.

Visit the official Global Cardboard Box website for more ideas!

Do you have any box creation resources to share?

Please share your stories! #cardboardchallenge


Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher:

Categories: Blog Topics, Makerspaces/Learning Commons, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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