"The toy in the child's hand is alive."
If you have a preschool aged child you have certainly read the book series by Laura Numeroff, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." This is our take on it. This is one of my personal favorite activities for a child.
A box is a world of imagination to a young child. If you give a child a gift, and it comes in a box large enough for them to crawl into, they will likely ditch the gift and go for the box. The box is a boat, a ship, a cave, a car, a rocket, a house, a bed, a safe place. It is always, in my observations, a place of safety for a child, a refuse and a help for whatever scenario they have conjured.
Feeding and caring for ten children requires purchases to be made in bulk, so thankfully, usually by months end, we have an ample supply of boxes. I do try to make certain I have enough boxes for each child to have their own. Sharing at this age is very difficult. At times, we can utilize them as objects of sharing, but along comes one of our little 1's and share time is over... :)
Why is playing with boxes is an important part of the learning process?
We know it's fun. We know it's the nature of young children to toss the toy and play with the box. We have all felt that little sting as well meaning parents, grandparents, and yes preschool teachers when we have spent quite a lot of money on a new toy and the box is what they have a BLAST with until it's unrecognizable and tossed into pieces into the recycle bin. Why, though? What is the draw that young children have to the box?
They desire to create the world around them...just like we do. Think about it, we decorate our homes (big boxes), our cars (sometimes big boxes), even our coffee mugs (little boxes) at a pottery class with our own style, with the things that touch our hearts and speak to us emotionally. Creative, imaginative play is practice for later adult world events like homemaking. We each desire to have our own "box" or space that is uniquely ours; something that speaks to us and others and says, "This is me, what I like, and what's important to me."
This type of imaginative play is vital to the self-confidence. It is an essential building block in the foundation of thinking. This "thinking" teaches children to problem solve emotionally/socially with other children; to think about spatial relations in reference to ALL the stacks of toys or friends they attempt to put into their box space; to redesign and redirect their materials for to meet their goals for a variety of play that will ensue individually or as a group.
So...the next time you are trying to decide how to spend $20 on a fun new toy that will keep your child busy for hours, go to your local moving store and pick up a big box, step back, and watch the fun confident that your decision is appropriate, imaginative, and GREAT for their development!
As always...we wish you well - L
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com