This DIY Cardboard play shop has everything kids need to play store in a pretend marketplace! Easy to make with a simple cardboard box!
Some links on this site are affiliate links and as an associate I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Click on the images and blue text to be taken to links. Thank you! Learn more.
Besides being fun, puzzles are an often overlooked educational tool. I’ve used puzzles to teach my children about the world. I also love using 4D Cityscape Time puzzles in our history lessons, as they allow children to see how historical events shape cities and countries.
I believe in hands on learning wherever possible, in all school subjects. So when I was offered the chance to review three new Dr. Livingston human body jumbo learning puzzles, I said yes. I knew these puzzles would be fantastic for teaching my children about the human body.
Using Puzzles to Teach Children About the Human Body
Inspire Pretend Play with a DIY Cardboard Play Shop
This summer, my kids are all about cardboard crafting! I think this is fantastic! Cardboard makes a fantastic FREE crafting material for all ages!
I’ve made a lot of stuff out of cardboard for my kids over the years! This DIY cardboard space shuttle is my personal favorite.
My son is actually the mastermind behind today’s DIY cardboard creation.
Summer is the perfect time to play at play shops and pretend towns. Playing at pretend shops develops all sorts of important academic and life skills. You can see several of those life skills in development through the design of this DIY cardboard play shop.
In this particular play shops iteration, all of the kids had pretty similar products. My son realized he needed to up his game, and he came up with this cardboard shop.
DIY Cardboard Store
After a few days of playing the pretend shops game, my son realized he needed some fun ways to attract customers. And so this cardboard play shop was born. Johnny came up with a fancy welcome sign and reviews from other customers. Donations helped him break even, since he tends to set his prices lower than is really sustainable.
I didn’t get a photo with inventory on display, but the swing arm extension allows more products to be displayed without owning another box.
Cardboard is at a premium in our house when the kids start crafting. This entire play shop was made out of a single cardboard box. All of the extra pieces you see are made using flaps that were cut off of other parts of the box.
He listed both inventory and incentives on the side of his box.
Spend $10 and you get 25% off your next order!
Earn $2.00 for a starred review that will be posted at Johnny’s shop!
The first sign lists his main inventory. Noticing high food sales in other shops, he negotiated with his fellow vendors for the right to sell shaved ice and snack mix.
Play Shop Storage
The front of the shoplifts up to reveal extra supply storage, as well as children and pets (when said children and pets were not at babysitting and pet sitting services run by other children). All of the kids kept dropping off their children and pets and then forgetting about them, much to my amusement. Eventually the baby or pet sitter would come by and say, “Hey, when are your going to pick up your kids/pets?”
Tips for Building with Cardboard Boxes
My kids love building with cardboard boxes! Over the years they have learned when to use scissors and when to cut with knives (after showing me they can handle the knife safely), and when they need to get me for help.
I love that my child can take a cardboard box that I got for free with something that was shipped to the house and build something amazing that they play with for hours. After a while it’s time to move on, so we break down the box and put it into the recycling bin, secure in the knowledge that what was built once can be built again.
Do you and your kids enjoy cardboard crafting? What’s the coolest thing you have made out of cardboard? Please share photos if you make a DIY cardboard play shop like ours!
Share comments and feedback below, on my Facebook page, or by tagging me on Instagram. Sign up for my newsletter to receive book recommendations, crafts, activities, and parenting tips in your inbox every week.