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How to Make Cardboard Building Discs for Recycled Cardboard Sculptures

by Samara Caughey
May 15, 2019

 Kids can create their own building material by transforming a box into cardboard building discs. Stack the discs to make these awesome sculptures! This art activity provides open-ended creative exploration for kids. Project & post by Samara Caughey of Purple Twig 

Colorful painted cardboard building discs for kids

A few years ago, I put together this project for our Architecture week of Summer Camp. I love the idea of the kids creating their own building materials to make sculptures.

As children are a part of the entire making process, it gives them a stronger relationship to the creating of the sculptures. 

The other aspect of this project I love is the reusing of materials, transforming the seemingly mundane cardboard box into a playful sculpture.

Painted cardboard building discs for kids

Cardboard Building Discs Sculptures

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  1. Make the cardboard building discs

    Each child chose about 6–10 circles and then cut the slots themselves around the circles.

    This took some time and there was definitely some complaining about tired hands but ultimately, as repetitive tasks allow us to do, we had some great conversation as the cutting persisted.

    Stack of cardboard building discs along with an assembled cardboard sculpture

  2. Paint the cardboard building discs

    We then laid out the cardboard discs on the table and the kids began to paint.

    I really like using the florescent tempera cakes because they are so bright against the brown cardboard.

    The kids splatter painted, made lined patterns, mixed colors and explored different ways to paint on the circle.

    Neon tempera paints for painted cardboard building discs

  3. Start building with cardboard building discs

    Once dry, it’s time to begin to build with the circles. The children worked both collaboratively and individually to make sculptures.

They tried to see how high they could make the discs, then they had the sculpture crawl off the table and onto the floor.  There are just so many options.

Child creating sculpture out of cardboard building discs

When finished, we stacked up the cardboard discs to build another day.

Cardboard Building Discs Sculptures for Kids

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