Toddler build with cardboard at our preschool

By Julie Goldstein

This week up in The Studio we are discovering new ways to build and problem- solve. I recycled cardboard boxes and cut them into 4”x6” and 7”x9”. Then I cut slits into all four corners.

We read the book “One & Other Numbers with Alexander Calder” written by First Concepts with Fine Artists. (I highly recommend these books for your classroom).

Each child received 4 pieces of cardboard and was asked to connect the pieces so that the sculpture could stand on its own. Once each child created their own piece, they partnered with a friend and connected the two pieces to either build up or out. Finally, we moved all of the pieces to the floor and children connected each sculpture together to create one huge piece of art.

We walked around the piece and discussed the final results. Then they went back in and added more and moved pieces around. This project was so engaging, the children really enjoyed the ability to move freely and continue to change and alter the sculpture. It was a pleasure to listen to them problem solve and challenge each other to create what resembled a place, a space and also a “huge” dinosaur! This is a really fun project to do at home and in your classroom.

Toddlers piece together cardboard sculptures at our childcare center

Recycled Cardboard cut into squares and rectangles, each with slits cut into the four sides

teacher shows kids how to make cardboard sculptures


  1. Read “One & Other Numbers with Alexander Calder” by First Concepts with Fine Artists
  2. Discuss the meaning of “Sculpture”
  3. Pass out 4-5 pieces to each student
  4. Have the students work on connecting the pieces and to get the sculpture to stand on its own.
  5. Then work in pairs and then as a class to create one large standing sculpture.
  6. Have FUN!
kids build cardboard sculptures at our preschool
boy toddler piece together cardboard sculptures atour child care center
girl shows her sculpture that she made in our art studio