In this activity, you and your child will build something sturdy out of a cardboard box.
Learning Area(s): Language and Communication; Science
- cardboard box(es), large enough for child to climb into
- additional cardboard boxes of any size (more is better)
- strong scissors
- tape, glue, or other adhesive materials
- optional: rulers, tape measure, string, stickers, washable paint, anything to decorate
Invite your child to play by saying, “I found this cardboard box. Let’s build something with it!” Help your child come up with a list of ideas she would be interested in building (house, castle, spaceship, bus, rollercoaster, etc.) and decide on a project together. Ask your child, “What should we build with our box(es)?” and, “Why do you want to build that?” Follow her ideas to cut, bend, or shape the boxes.
Continue your building project together, asking your child supporting questions, such as,
- “What will the top/bottom look like?”
- “How can we make our spaceship/house/castle sturdier?”
- “What will happen if we don’t use enough tape/glue?”
Play with the boxes together until you have built something your child is happy with. When you’re done, use your new box creation to engage in pretend play with your child! Pretend you are flying to the moon, being a prince or princess in a foreign land, or riding a rollercoaster at a theme park. Allow your child to climb in, out, over, and under your creation as you play together.
- Checking out the book Not a Box/No es una caja by Antoinette Portis or What to do with a Box by Jane Yolen from your local library and reading it with your child is a great way to get some inspiration for building new structures with your boxes.
- If your child seems uninterested at first, give her a specific challenge to complete. Try saying, “These three little pigs need a new place to live! Can you help them build a sturdy house? Sturdy means it’s strong and won’t fall down.”
- If your child is interested, decorate and paint the box(es).