Two very simple ingredients stirred with imagination cook up some another Advent play-of-the-day: boxes + paper tubes = Christmas fun for kids and families.
In the midst of adults trying to wrap presents kids are enjoying another tradition, playing with the empty boxes and the long wrapping paper tubes. Combined with imagination, these two objects, used together or separately, call to children to come and play. Why are they so appealing to kids?
This is play where kids are like creative elves. “A plain, ordinary box comes with no limits, no instructions, and no expectations. Kids are in control in their own zone….A cardboard box is not empty; just like our kids, it is full of potential. With imagination it can be anything: a camper, a boat, a bus, a house, a spaceship, a hospital, a fort, anything. It can be transportation to anywhere and as big as the universe or it can be exactly where it is as a small, but safe and secure area. While a box is a defined space, it is flexible for the needs of the child.”
A wrapping paper tube has almost as many possibilities. Beyond that of the best head-bonker, a paper tube can be a pirate’s saber, a knight’s sword, a bridge, tunnel, telescope, a marble road, a tree, cane, or wand. It’s fun for riding like a cowboy’s horse or Harry Potter’s broom. Whatever it is, the choice belongs to the child.
Toys are a major item at this time of year. The lowly cardboard box is considered a toy and recognized in the U.S. National Toy Hall. While we can’t call imagination a toy, it is certainly part of play. While you are busy with other things, with a box and paper tube children can also be busy moving their bodies and stretching their brains. Boxes + paper tubes = Christmas fun because children can fill them with play. Isn’t play a wonderful gift to give a child?