Cardboard Challenge - Caine's Arcade

We saw this amazing Youtube clip thanks to one of the other Britmum bloggers.  It’s about a boy called Caine, who lives in LA and created an incredible cardboard amusement arcade in the front of his father’s hardware store.  Cardboard is one of my favourite materials for creating with the kids; it’s readily available and so easy to use.  

When I showed my children the Caine’s Arcade short film, they sat watching it silent, unmoving, engrossed.  At the end of the film Una turned and said "he’s a genius!”  Today is the day for Caine’s Cardboard Challenge.  So, we at Mrs Fox’s have each set our little foxes loose armed with tape, scissors and cardboard and this is what they made:

Daddy Fox was in charge of cardboard creativity today in our house.  Louis wanted to make a car.  I think he had a little help.  He is very pleased with his creation.  He’s been putting his torch and some little people from his wooden bus inside it and taking them on imaginary journeys.

Una wanted to make a house.  She took the whole thing very seriously and I think what she got from looking at Caine’s arcade was to think about how her creation would work.  The interior of her project is as important as the exterior.  She has lots of ideas about how the house will function.  And she is still working on it this evening, with further plans for a roof garden.

And from the other Mrs Fox:

I’m clear on the fact that this is not the most original idea in the world but upon asking our little lady what she would most like to construct out of cardboard, without hesitation, she said, ‘A castle.’  So there we had it with not a moment spared working that one out.
My oldest boy had been persuaded by a friend to join him for a tennis lesson and so we had to leave the cardboard ‘Messi The Greatest Footballer’ on the drawing board but number 3 happily piped up that he would like to make a dinosaur.  He is very much discovering his creativity recently and it was a joy watching him working out how to make an apple juice carton into one of his favourite creatures.
Eve wanted to jot down a few ideas before starting on the build and quickly found the pieces she’d need amongst my cardboard collection.  I rarely throw any substantial cardboard out to recycle as my 3 are often occupied through making something out of it, so we had a nice selection to choose from.
They are also all major Art Attack fans although at 3, 5 and 6, they’re possibly a little too young to get on with any projects unaided.  This doesn’t stop them scouring the internet for old episodes and I really don’t mind this.  They are clearly endlessly creatively inspired by Neil Buchannan and this is only a good thing.  All three of them spark with ideas when given the chance to create anything.

So, Eve chose a few simple and obvious pieces for her castle; a rectangle box and a long tube from some old wrapping paper.  With a little help from me, we cut the long tube into four smaller tubes for the turrets and having made some simple plans, off she went.  She began by cutting snips along the top box flaps, taking out alternate flaps to make the castle walls ‘go up an down like on real castles’.  Then she applied glue to a box corner and then held one cut tube firm before applying the obligatory sticky tape.  Mr Buchannan seems to love sticky tape and my children love him so everything they make has to use enormous lengths of the stuff whether it’s required or not.  Then she did the same thing to each corner and before I knew it, had me making paper cones while she peeled off strips of the beloved sticky tape to hold it tight.  Having applied glue to the top of the tubes, she gently placed a cone on top of each and ‘made it nice and straight.’
The pieces cut out from the tops of the castle were then stuck all over the outer walls for windows and she coloured in some cris-crosses on a piece of paper and cut it out into an arch shape for the portculis.

In the meantime, I had been discussing with Tom how he expected his dinosaur to look and with my help (he is only 3) we made a hole in the back of the juice carton and he happily pushed his wrapping paper tube into it as the dino’s tail.  He then cut a toothpaste box in half using my big kitchen scissors and asked me to ‘blob him some glue’ so that he could stick it on the opposite end to the tail for it’s head.  All we needed now were some legs and he said that he wanted to use the rest of the toothpaste box so I cut it into four and together we stuck them on the bottom, using the flaps as feet.
Seeing some of Eve’s cardboard cut out squares left on the table, he decided to give his dinosaur a pattern and stuck them to it’s sides – again using sticky tape.

For any of you who also have to watch endless runs of Art Attack, tomorrow they want to cover their works with kitchen roll and PVA, or ‘pervia’ as Tom calls it.  ‘Then they will be solid and ready to paint’…

So there you go, a castle and a dinosaur made out of cardboard, a small amount of paper and lots of sticky tape.

And here is some more kid's creativity with cardboard.


  1. Love all the work you have done, big well done, very inspired projects!

  2. A very inspired project, love all the work you have done

    1. Thanks Galina, I loved your "Portazoo" and Eddie obviously loves colour in a big way.

  3. I am loving what you have done, wonderful wonderful ideas x

    1. Thank you Claire, we really enjoyed this challenge.


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