Anther Kiley designs DIY paper toys for building miniature cities

Graphic designer Anther Kiley has created a kit for children to construct buildings, vehicles, furniture and tiny fish figures using paper and glue.

Cardkits are paper toys made with card stock that children assemble themselves, and can then use to build their own miniature cities.

Cardkits by Anther Kiley

Kiley, a designer and educator in Providence, Rhode Island, created the collection based on similar models he crafted during play as a child, when he built a city called “Fishworld”. He hopes the paper buildings and vehicles will encourage “storytelling and world building.”

Cardkits by Anther Kiley

“Cardkits combine the challenge and rewards of making with creative play and world building,” Kiley said. “Assembling the kits engages dexterity, ingenuity, and focus; playing with them inspires storytelling and world building.”

Cardkits by Anther Kiley

Each of the models comes with a design pattern printed across a single sheet of card stock. To assemble the mini-constructions, kids punch-out the individual parts that comprise the object and follow directions that explain where to fold and glue the paper to turn it into a three-dimensional toy.

Kiley has designed a number of buildings as part of the collection, including a brick townhouse with a bay window and red front door and a beige house with blue shutters and a chimney.

Cardkits by Anther Kiley

The back side of the houses is left open, similar to a dollhouse, so kids can fill the rooms using the paper furniture from one of the kits. Objects include a bed, kitchen appliances, a couch, table and bookshelf.

In addition to buildings there are also sets for crafting vehicles, such as a yellow taxi cab and a train. A track, also made with paper, lays flat against the play surface for the locomotive to move up and down.

Cardkits by Anther Kiley

Each of the kits comes with a collectable fish figure with a distinctive name and pattern that children can use to populate the town, a nod to Kiley’s childhood “Fishworld”. The paper figurines are designed to fit inside the vehicles and buildings.

Cardkits by Anther Kiley

Kiley produces the toys on a local scale in Rhode Island using Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and a digital manufacturing scheme that generates minimal waste. All of the toys and the packaging they are wrapped in is 100 per cent recyclable.

Cardkits by Anther Kiley

British architecture studio Foster + Partners published a collection of architecture challenges, for children to work on during the coronavirus lockdown, including building paper skyscrapers.

Other designs for play that use paper are Marion Pinaffo and Raphaël Pluvinage’s Papier Machine, a set of 13 electronic toys cut and folded using paper printed with a special ink.

Photography is by Anther Kiley.

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