Dec 27, 2016

Empty Box Activities for Children

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Empty boxes of all sizes can be reused for other purposes. With a little help from adults, cardboard boxes can turn into activities for kids, and this article suggests ideas for younger ages. First, check out your recycling container for various sizes of cardboard boxes. If you do not have big boxes at all, try visiting a furniture store, grocery store and the recycling depot for those extra large boxes. Boxes can begin a creative process with the end result encouraging playtime for young children, an important component of their developmental growth.

An Empty Box Into a Playhouse

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Probably one of the favourite memories we all have was to do turn the empty cardboard box that the new stove or such was delivered in into a playhouse. This activity still has great appeal. So much of the creative process before the playtime can be done by the children themselves. For safety reasons, the cutting of the windows and doors should occur with the adults. Allow the children to be the architects of their playhouse, and to take full ownership of the activity. Bring out some crayons or felts and have them first draw the outline of where they want the windows and door to be. When cutting out the windows and doors, try and make the window openings and/or the door entrance to have a flap, so the children can close the door and window when playing. Once that portion is completed, suggest to the children to decorate the window with curtains, and the front of the house with flowers and paint while the inside could have pictures on the wall, a clock and so on. This activity could occur outdoors as well and if outside, the empty cardboard box could easily be decorated with paint. Once the house is decorated, play furniture can be put in and the play time can exist. Depending on the space allocated for the creation, this cardboard box could provide hours of good playtime for children.

Toddler Indoor Activities

Toddlers love empty boxes and with the help of the adult nearby, they can be entertained for stretches of time with just the cardboard container. Here are some suggestions and some songs to go along with the activities:

1. A big empty box and material: let a toddler sit inside the box and put light items on top of him/her to hide, such as stuffed animals or soft balls. Balloons work well, but an adult supervisor should be near the box. Count down from 5 or 10 and then yell "Surprise!" The toddler can then jump up and let all the items fly up into the air. A toddler will want to repeat this activity a number of times.

2. Jack in the Box: Have a toddler inside the box, then sing or say these words:

Jack in the box, still as a mouse, deep down inside his little dark house
Jack in the box, resting so still, will you come out?
Then the child can jump up and say "yes I will!"

3. A box for a boat or plane: turn the box into travel imagination and sing the following songs:

Row Row Row Your Boat or to the same tune:
Zoom, zoom zoom you go
In the plane you fly
See the clouds going by
Way up in the sky.

Empty Box for Drama Play

A big empty cardboard box can be turned into a bus, airplane or train. The box should be turned to the side, and then small windows (circle windows if it is going to be a plane) cut out. The next step is to position small chairs inside one behind the other to create a transportation scene. This kids' activity is suitable for an early childhood setting, like preschool or daycare, but also works well at home. To add to the dramatic play, have some bags, clothes and a ticket center available. For more ideas, visit my Pinterest Board by clicking HERE