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Awesome Homemade Gift for Kids: Cardboard Laptop

This cardboard laptop is one of my all-time favorite DIY gifts for kids! It’s simple to make, and ours still gets pulled out years later!

Homemade cardboard laptop

This cardboard laptop with interchangeable screens was the hit present at Johnny’s fourth birthday party, easily eclipsing the talking bear. I can’t take any credit from it – it was made by my brother B – who, incidentally, has apparently been given credit for the gifts Mike and I gave Johnny as well! That’s what happens when you bring the most awesome present!

How to Make a Cardboard Laptop for Pretend Play

The design is very simple – two sheets of cardboard for the top, one for the bottom. The sheets of cardboard are roughly 9×12 inches each. One of the top sheets is identical to the one you see on the bottom; the other one has a screen cut out using an X-acto knife. The top sheets are open at the sides so that the kids can make new screens and slide them in and out. Clear Duck Tape holds it all together. Simple perfection!

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

22 thoughts on “Awesome Homemade Gift for Kids: Cardboard Laptop”

  1. I want to try this and slide a dry erase board in the screen part! You can run off a keyboard from Google images.

  2. That’s an awesome computer! I remember making cardboard computers as a kid as well–sometimes aided by B. :-)

  3. Grumpy Grateful Mom

    What a fun idea! I’m always surprised at what my kids LOVE. I may try this with my kids. :)

  4. LOL! Abby made herself a “laptop” once with a Children’s Place box that flipped open. She drew in the boxes for the letters and numbers too. It was quite funny.

  5. Ah – so this is what engineers make with cardboard. Brilliant! This is the same awesome brother who gave you the three boxes? I like him! A lot!

  6. I love his laptop! It is extremely well constructed, which is to be expected from someone with two mechanical engineering degrees from Stanford.

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