DIY Tiny City Board | fine motor skills activity (using cardboard)

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Are you looking for ways to improve your toddler’s hand-eye coordination, imagination, and fine motor skills? Then this DIY tiny city board can help you with that.

This can also be a fantastic DIY project for older kids to do with family and friends.

DIY Tiny City Board | fine motor skills activity (using cardboard) 1

I am always on a hunt for activities, printables, and other things to do around the house with my son…

…and then it took me even longer to realize that this might be the case for many of us! As a result, I’ve decided to start a biweekly inspiration series on my email.

Every two weeks, I’ll be curating a variety of kids’ activity ideas, printables, and more. 

It’ll never be the same, sometimes you’ll get a free printable or a DIY project, and at other times, you’ll get a couple of ideas to try at home.

I understand that your child is probably at a different age than my son (5yo). Therefore I’ll try to mix things up a little and come up with ideas for different age groups.

Are you excited about this series? I know I am! 

Sounds like something you’d want to receive in your inbox? You can join the squad using the form below, or here if you haven’t already.


How the Tiny City Board can help your child with fine motor skills?

  • your child will play with the plastic caps trying to open and close them.
  • the cars are interchangeable, so your little one will work on their hand-eye coordination trying to fit the caps through the car wheels.
  • recreating a cityscape, you can come up with fun stories to share with your little one.

DIY Tiny City Board

This week’s project is perfect for fine motor skills development – very straightforward, using materials you may already have at home.

Please bear in mind that depending on how old your child is, this DIY project might not be suitable to do together with the child.

diy tiny city board

So, the idea is to recreate a cityscape with roads, cars, and traffic lights. As you can see in the images, the traffic light is missing, because I didn’t have enough lids for it (we’re still collecting them), but even without the traffic lights, your child can find it entertaining and have endless play hours with it.

Materials needed for this DIY Tiny City Board

  • large board (we recycled an old box)
  • colored cardboard paper (preferably a thicker one)
  • road washi tape
  • caps from plastic bottles (recycled ones)
  • paint (optional – if you want to paint over the caps to create the traffic lights)


  • scissors
  • pencil
  • hot glue gun (or any other glue, but make sure it’s stable)
  • glue stick

How to DIY Tiny City Board

Before we jump into working on the cityscape, we should prep and gather all the materials needed for this tiny city board project.

Gathering all the materials & supplies

Plastic caps. Since we’re using recycled caps from plastic bottles, we must cut them out using a very sharp knife or something else you already have at home.

For this project, we’ll need both the cap and the neck of the bottle. The neck of the bottle will be glued on the cardboard, and the caps will act as wheels on the cars.

DIY Tiny City Board | fine motor skills activity (using cardboard) 2

Cars and other cityscape features. Take your colored pages and start drawing all the elements you want to add to your tiny city board. Besides cars, I added some clouds, trees, and sun.

When you cut out the cars, make sure you do the outline. Then use the caps to measure where the holes in the wheels are going to be.

A quick tip: to cut out the holes, use something more precise. I used small nail scissors which have a very pointed tip.

Cardboard assembly

Next, let’s move to the cardboard. First, lay down the roads, then put the cars on the road to measure where to glue the bottlenecks. Use the hot glue gun to secure the caps onto the board.

Now put the cars on, without gluing them, then add the caps.

Next glue your other cityscape elements using a glue stick.

My initial plan was to paint the caps, but I didn’t like the look of them so I left them plain — one more reason why we didn’t add the traffic lights.

Remember that your child can interchange the cars if he wants to.

The plan was to paint the caps, but it doesn’t look right, so I left them plain — one more reason why we didn’t add the traffic lights.

Once I have enough caps for the traffic lights, I’ll add them too using the same concept as I did for the cars.

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That’s it! This a quick little project your little one will enjoy. Of course, you can recreate a different image, but I wanted to go with cars as my son loves them a lot.

If you decide to try out this project, please let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy playing & see you next time.

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