Make Your Own Recycled Toy House!

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Use a shoebox and paper towel roll to make your own toy house.

Before starting this activity, be sure to get permission and ask for help.

Caution: Have an adult handle the scissors and cut the cardboard for you.

What You Need

  • 1 shoebox
  • 1 paper towel roll (a second paper towel roll is optional)
  • 1 piece of cardboard as long as the shoebox and wider than the shoebox is deep (a good idea is to use the front panel of a cereal box)
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Glue or adhesive putty
  • Optional: Paint, construction paper, glitter, yarn, or stickers to decorate your house

What You Do

  1. Turn the shoebox on its side and put it on top of its lid.
  2. Cut a long horizontal slit in the middle of the back of the shoebox.
  3. Put your piece of cardboard through the slit so that one edge of it extends as far as the sides of the box, while the rest sticks out the back.


The half of the cardboard sticking out between the sides of the box is the floor of the upper story of your house. The half sticking out the back is an outdoor balcony.

County Links for Educational Resources

  • Anoka
  • Carver
  • Dakota
  • Hennepin
  • Ramsey
  • Washington