A box is not a box…. 

It’s not you know, it genuinely isn’t… It may just look like a cardboard cube otherwise known as erm a box.. 

However… As my fantastic nursery team and husband will know I believe that a box however big or small should never, NEVER be thrown away!

Currently my nursery reception is rocking a structure built by the children.. Several parents have asked “is it the Taj Mahal?” That wasn’t the children’s intention when building and decorating it it  but to me it should be one of the wonders of the world!

Boxes offer limitless play and learning opportunities- seriously…. 

I don’t know what a “transmogrifier” but it sounds pretty awesome.. 

Anyhoo… Not only can children turn it in to what ever they darn well please boxes can also be used for construction and junk modelling. 

At nursery the children love a group project. Prior to the “Taj Mahal” there was a dragon – the children spent varying amounts of time over a two week period painting boxes green (they wanted a green dragon), shredding up tissue paper to make fire and practicing their scissor skills by cutting up card for the dragon spikes. 

The end result was an awesome 4 ft dragon. Not only were they exploring colours and textures but they also worked together, took turns and communicated their preferences. All their ideas and contributions were praised by their peers and this all helps with their personal social and emotional development.

At Home…

 You could use a box to make a space ship, fold the sides out and it gives it wings! Pull the front flap up and you have a control deck! If you don’t mind some potential mess, mix up some black paint with pva glue – let your children paint the whole box, rip up/ cut some foil to add some shine, and tape on milk bottle tops as buttons for the control deck! 

The learning opportunities are fantastic too, they will be developing their communication skills from the start as you talk through how you are going to build it. 

Once the space ship is created you can encourage more communication as they play imaginatively with you as their co pilot or their friends. 

You can also chuck some mathematical communication in to the mix by encouraging them to use positional language when creating the box, words like top, bottom, inside, outside etc. 

They will also be using their imagination, being creative, spending time working together to reach a goal and most importantly having loads of fun! 

There are so many more ideas on Pinterest just search “cardboard box play” or “junk modelling”. 

And please if your moving save those boxes, or stick them on freecycle… There’s bound to be people like me who will put them to good use! 

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