How to Make a Child's Car Out of Cardboard

Written by jane smith
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How to Make a Child's Car Out of Cardboard
Kids can learn about traffic using cardboard cars. (traffic sign image by Saskia Massink from

You can teach children traffic safety through imaginative play by having them draw and paint their own cars on cardboard boxes. The cars fold flat to store out of the way when not in use. Make trucks and buses from larger boxes to teach how goods get to market and how masses of people get to school, work and other places they need to go.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Clean, dry cardboard boxes
  • Staple remover
  • Printable colouring sheet car outlines
  • Clear overhead projector sheets
  • Overhead projector
  • Easel pad
  • Primary pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons, paint, markers

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  1. 1

    Collect clean, dry cardboard boxes with their flaps intact or purchase new ones.

    How to Make a Child's Car Out of Cardboard
    Cardboard boxes can become a fleet of cars. (boxes image by Adkok from
  2. 2

    Remove any tape or staples, if any, to allow the flaps to open.

  3. 3

    Fold the box flat and draw the outline of a side-view of a car, bus or truck on the larger sides and outlines of front and rear bumpers on the short sides. Use printable colouring pages if you do not want to sketch your own.

  4. 4

    Print your chosen outline drawings onto clear overhead projector sheets by filling your printer with the sheets instead of paper. Place the images on an overhead projector one at a time, focused on an easel pad on the wall. Move the projector until the image is clear and the right size for the box it will be used to cover.

  5. 5

    Cut around the sketch and use it as a template to make as many more car side outlines you need for each box. Help the children glue the sketches to the sides of all the boxes.

    How to Make a Child's Car Out of Cardboard
    Attach car sketches with white glue. (bottle of glue on black marble image by phizics from
  6. 6

    Give the children paint, markers and crayons to decorate their cars. Fold the top flaps inside the box. Cut the bottom flaps to look like wheels. Open each folded car and step inside, pulling the car to waist height. Walk around the room to drive the car.

    How to Make a Child's Car Out of Cardboard
    Paint each car as desired. (watercolour paints image by DLeonis from

Tips and warnings

  • Make your own "Safety Town" program, using your cardboard cars. Create a series of cardboard streets. Make "stop," "yield" and "do not enter" safety signs to place at the intersections. Decorate additional boxes and label them as different buildings children might pass between school and home. Practice going from home to school, and from home to other destinations, obeying traffic signs along the way.

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