playing with boxes

Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness and Boxes

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. baby in box

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.

2 kids in box rocketBesides 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?

Kindergarten Readiness – Conversations with Guest Experts #3

For each radio show on Learn and Play with Mrs A, I take notes because I’m learning so much about kids and kindergarten readiness from fascinating guests who are experts in a variety of areas. Each of them is passionate about kids and loves the work, or maybe that’s play? Here’s a play-of-the-day suggested from our play-of-the-week conversations and a little information about these awesome guests.

developing kindergarten readiness and creativity in kidsThe importance of creativity has been recognized in industry and business. But where does creativity start? With young children, of course. Heather Boyd, educator whose Master’s thesis explored the issue of kids and creativity, was a guest on Learn and Play with Mrs A. In the conversation, she mentioned a wonderful little book about a bunny determined to be creative called It’s Not A Box, by Antoinette Portis. A video of this wonderful story is just over a minute long.

For a creative play-of-the-day can you give your child a box? Any size or shape. Let your child create something with the box. Can you blast off with some creativity?

Kindergarten Readiness – Playing with Boxes Fun & Learning

(thx Explorations Early Learning)

Today is Boxing Day, and while adults have their traditions, for kids it’s a day for some kindergarten readiness fun and learning while playing with BoXes. Boxes can be every bit as much fun as the toys that were in them. After all the stimulation of Christmas, kids need a way to limit all that excitement, and a cardboard box can help kids contain their bodies and their emotions.

A box might look empty but it is full of potential for play. Children can imagine many scenarios such as a bus, a rocket, a house, a fort, a store, a post office, or whatever else interests them. Even though the possibilities are huge, the space is small so it is much easier for kids to feel a measure of control.

Child looking from boxKids can create what the box will be and they can also determine the rules. They can explore as far as their imaginations will take them from the safety and security of a box.

Not only does a box meet the need for being able to control a space, it also helps kids adapt an ordinary object for a particular purpose. Their imaginative play also gives them the opportunity to develop creative skills. These are more than kindergarten readiness, but lifelong skills that adults need, too.

The following youtube video was adapted from the book Not A Box, by Antoinette Portis. Any day of the year can be Boxing Day, but today there’s a very good chance that there are a few empty ones at your house. Are there some that your child can use for fun and learning?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Playing with Boxes

What do kids do after Christmas? They play with boxes! Was your floor covered with paper and boxes? With all those new things for Christmas, adults can’t figure out the attraction of boxes, but kids are sometimes over-stimulated (!?!) and need to “debrief”. One of the ways they do this is with play where they … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Playing with Boxes