When I was a little girl, my father and mother made an entire child-sized play house for me from cardboard boxes. Make easy, diy kitchen appliances from recycled cardboard boxes. Here’s a simple craft project that makes a stove top, oven and kitchen utensil rack. You can make this super-easy craft with your children, for your homeschool or preschool classroom in about half an hour. All you need is a cardboard box (from a television or similar sized product), black permanent marker, sharp scissors, X-Acto Knife, Widget or box cutter, packing tape or duct tape, several brass paper fasteners and several pop can pull tabs.
To make a stove top or range, cut the open top flaps off from the box and place upside down. Draw four round electric coil burners or square gas stove burners on the bottom (which is now the top) of the box. Make play knobs for the stove by cutting circles from heavy corrugated cardboard. Cover with tape and punch a small hole in the center of the circle. Use a permanent Sharpie marker to draw an arrow on the button like a dial indicator. Push a brass ‘brad’ or paper fastener through the hole and through a corresponding hole in the front of the box. Open the wings of the paper fastener and you will have a button that can be turned. Use your Sharpie marker to write temperatures or words (Bake, Preheat, Broil) around the dial you’ve made, so that children can ‘turn on the stove’.
Cut a door flap for an oven. To make a closure for the oven door, make a knob as you did the temperature knobs. Form the top of the box where the oven door closes, staple a loop of yarn or cord. To close the oven, a child simple loops the cord over the button. Using the cardboard flaps that you cut from the top of the box, construct an oven rack. Tape the ‘oven rack’ in place inside the box. You can also tape small ridges of cardboard to the insides of the box that the oven rack can rest on. This way young bakers can pull out their oven rack to see if baked goods are done. Make a little cardboard rack by poking push pins into a piece of cardboard and taping the back to prevent injury. Hang near the stove. Hang an over mitt and play spatula, slotted spoon and ladle. All these utensils are available inexpensively in toy stores, but can be made by cutting from cardboard and covering with tape. To make utensils that can hang, use hot glue to attach a pop top tab from a can of soda.
See the my other articles in the series for DIY recycled cardboard sink, refrigerator, furniture, washer and dryer on my profile page.