Make a Cardboard Box Laptop

Here’s a fun cardboard box project that doubles as both a toy and a literacy learning activity!  Kids will love pretending to type on their own laptop, and they can carry it around and play with it at no risk to your actual computer.  Big win!

Cardboard Laptop - Play and Learn Literacy Skills!

I made the laptop out of two sheets of cardboard the same size as each other.  The tricky part was getting it to stay open at an angle, but Aidan helped me come up with a clever way of making it work with binder clips and a pencil.

Cardboard Box Lap Top

Here’s what you need to make one:

  • Cardboard – two 9″ x 11″ sheets
  • 2 binder clips
  • 1 pencil
  • mailing labels
  • A fine point Sharpie
  • Black duct tape
  • Scissors

After cutting out my two cardboard rectangles, I made the buttons for the keyboard out of mailing labels.  Don’t these dot matrix labels bring back memories?  I can only imagine how old they are… 15+ years for sure!  I’m not even sure when we last owned a dot matrix printer.

Cardboard Laptop

I arranged the letters in the same order as a real keyboard.

Then I created a screen with strips of black duct tape on the other sheet of cardboard.  If you wipe your scissors with a baby wipe first, they will slide right through the tape.

Cardboard Laptop

Then it was time to connect the two parts of the laptop. I taped two binder clips down to the keyboard as shown.

Cardboard Laptop

The binder clips alone were not quite enough to hold the screen of the laptop up at the right angle.  So I taped an unsharpened pencil to the underside of each binder clip.  It worked!

Then I put one piece of tape on the hinge of the laptop.  Be sure to put the tape on with the laptop closed, otherwise it *won’t* close after you tape it!

Cardboard Laptop

Then I added one last strip of tape on the inside of the hinge.  Again, make sure that the tape allows the laptop to fully open and close.

Cardboard Laptop

Typing on the computer was fun in and of itself, but I upped the educational level by making some word cards with words for Jonathan to type!  He loved this even more than I thought he would.

Cardboard Laptop

He is still learning the alphabet, so this was more about letter recognition than about learning to spell.  Also, I used both capitals and lower case letters on the cards, but the keyboard is all capital letters.  He had to match up lower case to capitals in order to type, which was the perfect way to practice a new skill.

Cardboard Laptop - Play and Literacy Idea!

Then there are so many fun ways to play pretend with the computer!  Type spy reports, pretend to be a police officer, Odd Squad agent, etc.

Make a Cardboard Laptop - Play and Learn Literacy Skills

Have fun playing and learning!


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  1. Tammy K Feb 24, 2017

    How about changing the taped screen to chalkboard paint. Or the peel and stick stuff. Then they can spell the words, as well as type them. ;) That is adorable, by the way!!!! :)

  2. Epson Printer Support Apr 10, 2018

    Nice thought of collaborating the lappy with various other devices the platform elaborates make a lot of work easy and handy love using it.


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