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Innovation and Imagination at the Wellan Cardboard Challenges

Last Sunday, many families from Wellan Montessori School gathered together to celebrate the Global Cardboard Challenge! It was a fantastic event full of sketching, cutting, gluing, taping, and constructing. Children came with parents, siblings, and grandparents and brought their imaginations to build many variations of vehicles that stemmed from our theme of transportation.

The Global Cardboard Challenge is an international event that is celebrated by children and schools around the world. It was inspired by Caine’s Arcade, a cardboard arcade that was created by a 9 year old boy named Caine. A short film about Caine’s Arcade, and his dream of having customers, was made and gained popularity on a global scale in 2012. Since then, every fall, children around the world are encouraged to celebrate creativity and community by building cardboard creations and sharing them with each other.

Elementary Students in grades 1–4 have been working on cardboard creations over the past six weeks in their Design Lab classes. In Design Lab, students use their creativity and understanding of the design process on a regular basis, through cardboard exploration, woodworking, lego robotics, and many other design-thinking based projects. At school on Friday, the Elementary students held the culminating event for the Student Cardboard Challenge and presented their cardboard castles, masks, and games to each other and to the Primary Y3 students. It was a lot of fun for everyone involved!

At the Family Cardboard Challenge over the weekend, students and adults alike began by planning their creations, sketching possible plans and considering the sizes and shapes of cardboard that they would need. Then, they ventured down into the gym to choose their perfect cardboard items and spread out to build. These creations required concentration, collaboration, and a bit of trial and error. Children came away with boats, trains, cars, airplanes, and wagons of all shapes and sizes; but most importantly, they came away with big smiles and inventive spirits, and had a great time with their families.

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