Celebrating Creativity, Imagination, and Play: The Global Cardboard Challenge

“Caine’s Arcade” by Nirvan Mullick is licensed under Standard YouTube License

It was an honour this past Friday to participate with my grade 5/6 students in the Global Cardboard Challenge.  Born out of one boy’s imagination with a bunch of cardboard boxes he found at his dad’s auto parts store in east Los Angeles, Canine’s Arcade has spurned a worldwide movement to celebrate creativity, imagination, and play.


#sd33STARS‘s Global Cardboard Challenge day had little rules.  In fact, the only rule was the that the cardboard box needed to be transformed into something other than a cardboard box.  The results were incredible.  I’ve learned that when we surround assignment and tasks with so many rules and restrictions we kill all kinds of creativity and imagination.


If you’re thinking of participating in your own #CardboardChallenge, then here are some tips I’ve developed over the years:

  1. List your event on the Cardboard Challenge site
  2. Make your rules simple – For example, “You need to transform your cardboard box into something other than a cardboard box.”
  3. Ask parents for donations of supplies such as tape, hot glue, scissors, paint etc…
  4. Involve parents by communicating @CainesArcade story.
  5. Get students pumped by showing @CainesArcade video.
  6. Show pictures of other people’s creations and allow time for students to brainstorm.
  7. Give them some class time to work on it.
  8. Invite parents to come in and play with the creations on the day you set aside to celebrate.
  9. Give students a chance to talk about their creations.
  10. Take pictures and tweet out to engage with others using the #highfive and #cardboardchallenge
  11. Most importantly, support those kids who may not have the home support to help with ideas and construction needs.

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