Friday, September 24, 2010

A Tutorial On Playing With Cardboard Boxes

It's the first full week of school, so of course that means we have plenty of packing material around, what with the all the new lockers, outdoor storage cabinetry, and curriculum supplies. 

We pretty much just threw it out into what we call the block area, mainly because we have nowhere to store all those boxes and foam packaging bricks.

We added some cardboard tubes, our every day cars, and a dozen tennis balls for good measure. Oh, we had us some fun.

Yep, we had a motivated parent-teacher working the station. That always helps. Charlotte's mom Renee was inspired in her role as the "block parent."

She asked for tape.

A feat of engineering; experiments in physics.

I told her she was brilliant and she replied, "Well, I haven't had much sleep."

But boxes, tubes, balls and cars, frankly, can get a bit limiting all by themselves, which is why we needed to add markers.

Art is essential to any worthwhile community endeavor.

We also broke out a box cutter, as you can see, for the adult 
to wield upon request.

Getting into the boxes is, naturally, a highlight.

Negotiating small spaces is one of the ways we learn about ourselves in
relationship with others.

He kept begging me to tip the box "up" while he sat in it.
I said, "I'm worried you'll be hurt." He said, "Go slow and
I won't." I began to tip the box up very slowly. A look of
panic crossed his face for a moment, but then he landed in
the bottom of the box. Look at that face. These are the
rewards that come from letting children take part in their
own risk assessment.

We made up some cool games.

They played this game together for a good 20 minutes. Holy cow!

All this great cooperative play and it's only our first full week of school. I see great things in this class's future.

Seriously, the cardboard box absolutely belongs in the Toy Hall Of Fame

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Play for Life said...

Regardless of anything else Tom a cardboard box is an absolute must in children's play. From box construction at the invention table to tower making below the pendulum to marble painting, cubbies and box play like you've witnessed ... as they say in a T.V. add here ... Plasma T.V. $3,000, the box it came in...priceless!!

Donna :) :)

Saya said...

I LOVE cardboard boxes!!!! And so do kids, fortunately, so I get to play with boxes with them! ha ha ha!

We have been building cardboard box house, and we painted and such this week! :)

Jackie @ Capable Kids Clubhouse said...

I will have to get our big HP boxes out of the side attic. Time to have fun with them again...

Cindy said...

Your class always looks so fun. I just started at an organization that is so full of rules, paperwork, and politics that it is hard to find time to have fun with the kids. I actually over heard a teacher tell a child that the little plastic cars can only be pushed on the floor because they might scratch the table. It is so frustrating. I'm glad you have the freedom and the trust of the organization to teach the way you do.

Marla McLean, Atelierista said...

Your images bring back my own memories of playing in boxes. You really captured the energy, the space, the joy, collaboration, and yes, risk taking that led to glee. I love seeing that the children led the way in this discovery. I heart boxes.

RedTedArt said...

Oh my oh my oh my!! So much fun in your class!! You sure managed to get hold of a lot of boxes and do so many different things with them! Brilliant!

Would LOVE for you to come and link up to Kids Get Crafty - every Wednesday with and for children - Old posts welcome!

Hope to see you there!