My Kids Participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge and They Didn’t Even Know It

Last summer I attended a Google Apps for Educators workshop at Pinkerton Academy in New Hampshire. One of the videos they showed in the keynote address was Caine’s Arcade – if you’re not familiar with it, it’s well worth watching the following video:

In a nutshell, Caine used his imagination, and a dash of creativity, to build an “arcade” out of cardboard. I showed the video to my kids, and my two boys were sucked in. They are separated by six years (ages 12 and 6), but they love working together to build stuff out of cardboard and other scraps they find around the house. Most often they build weapons and armor (naturally!), but my older son often uses his creativity to build other things (e.g., a cardboard battleship).

Anyway, one of the events talked about in the video is something called the Global Carboard Challenge. Sponsored by the Imagination Foundation, the Global Carboard Challenge:

“…is an annual event presented by the Imagination Foundation that celebrates child creativity and the role communities can play in fostering it. This September, kids of all ages are invited to build anything they can dream up using cardboard, recycled materials and imagination. Then on Saturday, October 1st, 2016, a day that commemorates the flash mob that made Caine’s day in the short film, communities come together and play!”

My boys were excited about this after watching the video, but we have since moved to a new house, school has started, and the Carboard Challenge was long forgotten. Despite this, they still managed to participate.

One of the byproducts of a move to a new house is a giant pile of flattened cardboard moving boxes. This is a pain for the adults who need to get rid of said cardboard, but for my kids it was a mountain of potential that simply required some scissors, tape, and a couple of creative minds.

I came home from running errands yesterday to find them in the basement building this:

Cardboard Challenge Castle

Ben’s Castle

Cardboard Challenge Castle

Sign written by my six year old son 🙂


Side view of the castle.

Interior of the cardboard castle.

Interior of the cardboard castle.

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized that yesterday was October 1st – it was totally unplanned, but the boys had participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge on their own, and their imaginations and desire to create were the only thing that motivated them to do so. As a science teacher, tech enthusiast, and father, this made me very proud 🙂

About Peter Larson

I'm a recovering academic, current high school biology/zoology teacher, blogger, and science geek with diverse interests (and experience) in the areas of zoology, anatomy, evolutionary biology, developmental biology, and exercise science. I made the fairly unusual jump from higher ed (10 years, including tenure, as a college biology professor) to teaching high school biology at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy in Northwood, NH. In addition to being a dedicated teacher, I'm also an avid distance runner - I write about running at You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.