How to make a Kitchen Stove for Kids Pretend Play from a Cardboard Box

Recycle Boxes and Bottle Caps for the Best Cardboard Play Stove Ever.

Is there anything better than cardboard box for creative play? A box is the best toy ever so we made a cardboard kitchen stove for kids pretend play. Here's a 'how to make' picture tutorial.

Cardboard Kitchen Stove Pretend How to Tutorial
Cardboard Pretend Stove with all the Recycled and Upcycled bells and whistles, ahem, knobs and handles.
How to make a pretend stove from cardboard and reused items

First, measure a width of wax paper and trace onto cardboard front of your box. Nevermind, if a flap is in the way, we'll fix it later. Now cut out the window (for your oven door) and reinforce the flaps with duct tape. Tape the wax paper on the inside. You can also use plexiglass and duct tape. Get a cardboard paper towel tube and attach to top of oven door. This will become your handle. 

The difficult part is attaching the interior shelf. Get a glue gun and attach strips of cardboard to each side to serve as the ledge the shelf sits on. Make them 2-3 pieces of wide, glue together, and attach face side to the right and left walls of oven. Cut shelf to fit. I used flaps from another box. Now it will slide in and sit atop your pieces of cardboard. I also added "legs" for extra play durability. (The cat likes to climb in and sleep on our shelf!)

Now tape up the bottom and back side flaps of the box. Leave the top box flap up to serve a the area for a clock and knobs. See the photo above, I also added a flap from another box to hold this flap upright, otherwise it likes to fall closed. You are tired and worn out from all of the cutting, taping, and thinking. Sleep on it and save the rest for day two.

See picture below. Now, trace the fast food cup holders on the top of your box. You may have room for four burners. Cut the hole about 1/2" smaller than the tracing. I used duct tape to attach the burners, but I encourage you to use hot glue and reinforce with tape... BUT NOT YET.

First, cover the sides and the door with some leftover wrapping paper. I used a glue stick on the box and secured the edges with tape. Then, cover your cardboard tube with foil. Cover your stove top with foil. Yes, the whole top. Poke a hole in the center of each opening and cut a small "x". You will have a slit opening with triangles. Fold the triangles in and tape on the underside to the "stove top". Now you can attach your fast food "burners". Tip: I cut the foil about 3" more than what I needed to cover the top of the stove and neatly folded it down forming a chrome edge. 

Go take a break; it will look better after you've had some time away from it.

When you return, attach your knobs (soda and milk lids glued together) and your clock front (Numbers printed off from a Word Document). Let these dry for at least 15 minutes. Remind the kids not to really turn the knobs these are the push to start variety :) We lost one on the first play!

Now, call the kids! It's time for a session of creative play. We save the little french fry containers, small cereal boxes, and juice containers to pretend.

And... the Mommy you are awesome hugs and rewards are worth the frustration :)  

upcycle cardboard boxes to pretend play kitchen stove
Make a cardboard kitchen stove.

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Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.