Cardboard has always been associated with the box the toy comes in—to a small child it’s often as much fun as the toy itself. Toymakers like Calafant and Kids on Roof have discovered just how versatile (and fun) cardboard can be, and have started making the toys themselves out of the recyclable material. Far from being one-dimensional, cardboard can be folded and tucked to create a world of possibilities, from dollhouses and toy cars to brilliantly detailed airplanes.

The best part is that the kids get to do all the folding and tucking, as well as all the coloring in their little hearts desire. Take the Kids on Roof, Hip from Holland Playhouse for the dolls, the birds, or the make-believe friend. Available at San Francisco’s Fiddlesticks, it comes to life easily, especially with the help of those limitless imaginations—and with a precious little handle on top, it’s a mobile home like you’ve never seen.

Calafant’s got some fun ones as well, like the cardboard airplane you can take on the airplane, ready for assembly without glue or scissors, and already stocked with markers. Or the cardboard carriage that could make for an interactive party giveaway. Imagine the possibilities. Calafant is also on hand at Fiddlesticks. While you’re there, try other crafty picks like Made by Me! Trucks by Maple Landmark, easy to assemble wooden toys you can draw on.

—Renee M. Rutledge