Thursday 9 May 2013

Kids Coop - Cardboard boxes

The Weekly Kids Co-Op
Its time for Kids Coop. Please link up your child related posts and check out what others have been up to this week. I'm linking the following:
(Goblin is 42 months)
As Goblin gets older I have become wiser in the art of playing with cardboard boxes. When Goblin sees a giant cardboard box he instantly starts listing things he wants it to be. So the latest box acquired from our good friends was apparently going to be a helicopter and a boat and an aeroplane.
In the past I would have set to work cutting it up and trying to build an elaborated construction (for examples see here and here and here). It would have taken a lot of time and Goblin would have been frustrated while I was busy with my masterpiece.
So now I stick to a few basic rules
1. Try to retain the structural integrity of the box. 
In the past I would have cut down the sides to make the shape more "boaty" but the more you break the boxes integrity the less stable it is and the less durable. This limits the length of time that it will remain intact for play. So keep it looking boxy and get your kid to use their imagination instead.
2. Involve your child in the decorating
In the past I would have spent a lot of time trying to build what Goblin had requested but not included him in the process. Now I try and keep it a lot more simple, and get him to give ideas.
3. Embrace paper fasteners
Paper fasteners are my new secret weapon. All kids like moving parts on their creations right? Well paper fasteners are a super simple way of attaching stuff so it can spin around. Thus giving your child something to fiddle with.
So my latest cardboard creation was a simple boat. I did not try to make it look too much like a boat. Instead I asked Goblin what a boat needed. He told me it needed a propeller (yey! paper fasteners). And a steering wheel (more paper fasteners). After a bit more thought he also decided it needed a radar, start buttons, and flashing emergency light. which were achieved through a  yogurt pot, straw and bottle cap.
As we played with his boat I pointed to some barnacles on the keel. "You need to scrape those off so the boat will go faster. Oh and you'll need to pain the hull". My imaginary play suggestion ignited another idea with Goblin. And he set to work actually painting his boat.
And himself! 
This simple box provided an entire day of imaginary play. I love cardboard boxes.

And now to the linky

I'm sharing this with

  TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me Teach Beside Me I Can Teach My Child


  1. Fab post - pinned it.

    We're featuring imaginative play at Empty Your Archive this week - do link up, Alice x

  2. I so love cardboard boxes. The other day I saw a business selling cardboard box cutouts to make into dinosaurs. I wanted to scream 'NO! Just recycle the ones you have and get creative on your own You don't need a template!' I love your little masterpieces. Fantastic!


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