Out of the Box

image by bfhoyt used via Creative Commons License/Flickr

My boys seem to love the start of each new Kindermusik session for one special reason, our house ends up being filled with empty cardboard boxes from all the Home Materials we order and hand out.  Boxes make great toys for all ages and a wonderful way to encourage imagination.  Next time you have an extra empty box or two lying around, try one of these ideas:

  • Make your own doghouse. Let you child pretend to be a dog who climbs in and out, takes a nap, hides, comes out for a snack, etc.  (This is actually a suggestion from our current toddler class “Our Time:  Fiddle-Dee-Dee”.  Check out pg. 5 of your activity guide for some great ideas for this one.)
  • Make your own elevator. For those of you who have preschoolers in “Imagine That!:  Cities!” this semester, this is one we were able to do in a few of the classes, and the kids just loved it.  Feel free to decorate your elevator with “up” and “down” signs on the outside and number buttons for the different floors.  Sing the “Elevator and Escalator” song as you play.  You might even get off at different floors and go “shopping” for toys, groceries, clothes, whatever suits your fancy!
  • Make your own pirate ship. We did this one year when Noah was still a baby and pretended to sail the ocean seas!  We even got binoculars to look out for buried treasure or even land.
  • Get baby in on the fun, too! A great idea for all ages is to create your own wagon or car.  Older kids might decorate their cars with markers or stickers, but even babies love being gently tucked into a box and pushed around the room.  Older toddlers also like being the one to push the box.
  • Play hide-and-seek. Maybe your pretend to be a Jack-in-the-Box who pops out or a dinosaur hatching from an egg or just play plain old peekaboo.  Anyway you look at it, boxes are super fun for hiding and peeking.
  • Use your imagination. Build a robot, a castle, a shop, an airplane, a train, or even a dream house.  Pull out markers, stickers, crepe paper, or whatever else strikes you.  And most importantly, be sure to let your child lend plenty of ideas as she makes this project her own.   As you ask guiding questions, like “What if we tried this?”, “How do you think this might look?”, “Should we use markers or stickers?”,  “Will we need tape?”, you may be surprised and delighted at the opportunities for problem solving and creativity that arise.

Happy Exploring!

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