Playing with a box can stimulate fun and learning and support development and kindergarten readiness. For kids, there’s no need to think outside the box, just think box and all the fun there is to do with one. A plain, ordinary box comes with no limits, no instructions, and no expectations which means that children have no limits on their imagination and creativity.
Just like our children are full of potential, so is a cardboard box. A box may look empty but is is full of possibilities as a boat, house, bus, camper, spaceship, hospital, restaurant, kitchen, fort or whole city. Boxes can be adapted to the needs of the child and serve as a small, but safe space or a rocket in outer space. This kind of play–being able to adapt an ordinary object for a specific purpose–is not just a childhood or kindergarten readiness skill. It is something that we all do every day so often that we don’t even think about it. Perhaps, you’ve used a long wooden spoon to reach something down from from the top cupboard, or repurposed a pair of worn jeans.
Besides encouraging creativity, imagination, and using ordinary objects in a new way, play with boxes also provides children an opportunity to use language. Just like other skills, kids need to practice expressing themselves, explaining and telling, asking questions and for things they need, and talking with others. As the box transforms, kids get to plan and solve problems.
These are just a few ways that kids can play with a box for fun and learning. If the weather is dry enough, the box can be used outside. Wonderful big boxes are often available at furniture or appliance stores. When grocery shopping, check if the store has any big boxes. Can your child’s day include playing with a box?