Hint! Ask each child to save cardboard food boxes for a week and bring in what their family uses. Recycle those boxes with some of these projects.
Cardboard castle – Let children use masking tape to create a castle or other play sculpture.
Puzzles – Cut box fronts into puzzle shapes. Store in zip bags. For younger children use two like boxes. Cut one up and let them place the pieces on the second box.
Fronts and backs – Cut front and back panels off of boxes. Mix them up and then ask the children to match up the ones that go together.
Play a memory game where you place the fronts and backs face down on the floor. Children try to match up pairs.
Stencils and templates – Cut geometric shapes out of box fronts. Children can trace these with colored pencils, crayons, or markers.
Cut seasonal shapes or objects that relate to a unit of study for the children to trace.
Sewing cards – Punch holes around the sides of boxes. Children can sew these with yarn, string, or old shoelaces.
Weaving – Cut notches around the sides of boxes and let children weave through these with yarn.
Fractions – Give each child the front panel off a box. Can you cut it in half? Fourths? Eights?
Math – Have children sort the boxes by product, size, etc. Graph favorite cereals, cookies, crackers, etc.
Nutrition – Cut the side panels with nutritional information from cereal boxes. Have children rank them according to sugar content, food value, etc.