It’s quite a trick when April starts with Happy Easter and April Fool’s on the same day but there’s no trick when it comes to fun and learning because the brain’s favorite way to learn is PLAY! Start A-pril with a-play of the day. Check out the calendar below and then come back for more…
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?
When is a box not a box? When it’s a car, bus, ship, train, rocket or other form of transportation. Empty box transportation play has no limits. Boxes come in a variety of sizes and are either square or rectangular, to start that is. With imagination they can become anything.
- This rocket ship is blasting off from a preschool and all the kids helped to make it.
- The pirate ship was made by three kids one very hot afternoon. After making it, they played with it for days.
- Adults are not the only ones that drive cars. This one is child-size. Trips can be around the block, across the world, or deep into outer space.
- “Leavin’ on a jet plane,” or stayin’ right at home. This box has flyin’ power.
An empty box only looks empty, it’s really filled with possibilities. Some children will use their box as a blank slate or canvas and spend their time drawing and coloring, gluing on treasures from the craft and recycling baskets, and decorating it both inside and out. Other children may leave the box quite plain and accessorize with their imaginations. Either way, it stimulates creativity and meets a child’s needs and interests.
Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, with a special interest in the human brain, says “The brain is an amazing thing. Most of us have no idea what’s really going on inside our heads.” With kids, we can’t see what the brain is doing, but we can see how hard kids are thinking when they play. In his bestseller, Brain Rules, Dr. Medina advises, “The greatest pediatric brain-boosting technology in the world, is probably a plain cardboard box…”
Empty box transportation play is great for kids of all ages and stages. Is there an empty box for your child’s play-of-the-day?
Inspired by April Fools and how kids can transform anything into a toy, this post explores child’s play with boxes. Kids are masters at having fun in different, and often for adults, quite unexpected ways. Kids can turn adults into April Fools nearly every time they get a present in a box. Why? Because they … Continue reading Kids Play with Anything #1: Child’s Play with Boxes
When is a box not a box? When kids play. Today’s activity, Star Wars play with Box and Tube, engages the whole child, body, brain, heart, and imagination. The materials needed are, of course, a box of a fairly good size and a long cardboard tube or roll. Anything else, like crayons, glue, paints, scissors … Continue reading Star Wars Play with Box and Tube
When is a box not a box? When kids are playing with a box, it becomes a rocket, a fort, a mountain, Elsa’s ice castle, a Rebel space station, a pirate ship, Santa’s sleigh, the workshop at the North Pole, a stove, a restaurant, an office, a store, a post office, a car, a bus, … Continue reading Playing with A Box and a Paper Tube
Kids bored? According to 2 articles and a Google Doodle that could be a good thing. The 100th anniversary of Einstein’s theory of relativity is the doodle. The articles talk about kids and creativity. There is a myth about Einstein, that he failed at math. This is quite untrue. Einstein was exceptional in math. What … Continue reading Kids Bored? Einstein, Boredom, Creativity & Kids
Cinderella Inspires a Play-of-the-Day Cinderella is another fun fairy tale that can inspire play activities, not just for girls but boys also. Glass slippers and fairy godmothers are not required. Cinderella is not much liked by her step-mother and step-sisters and has to do all the work. When the prince invites everyone to a ball, … Continue reading March into Fun with Books, Stories, and Activities #12
Christmas might be over for another year, but the fun isn’t, because now comes Boxing Day, the day when kids get to play with the boxes! Sometimes, the new toys are put aside and the adults wonder why the kids are more attracted to the boxes or wrapping paper tubes. The answer involves two things … Continue reading Why is it Called Boxing Day? So Kids Can Play with Boxes!
Before you throw out or recycle any boxes from Christmas, did you know that boxes can be as much fun as the toys that were in them? Today is Boxing Day, and while adults have their traditions, for kids it’s a day for some fun and learning for early development and kindergarten readiness while playing … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness in a Box