What can you do with a box?

One of our favorite pastimes in Pre-K is inventing something new with a box.  This fall, we had a huge assortment of boxes at our disposal.  Before we began designing, we read both Jane Yolen’s What to Do With a Box and Dana Meachen Rau’s A Box Can Be Many Things.  We realized that there were so many possibilities, it would be hard to choose just one giant project.  To help us narrow our focus, we closed up all of the boxes and pretended they were blocks, instead.  After some preliminary “block building” with the pieces we had on hand, a few ideas came to the forefront.

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Options provided by the children included a boat, a rocket, a cat, and a castle.  One morning, we all voted to find out which design we should choose.  At ten votes, creating a castle was easily the most popular choice.

In the past, we’ve always depended upon duct tape for our box construction needs.  This morning we began using some new child-friendly box tools.  While the hand saws were fun to use, they were a bit difficult for our Pre-K hands to manipulate.  However, I was quite impressed with the resilience of the many that returned to using the saws again and again.  The screws and screwdrivers were much more comfortably applied.  In fact, you might notice that many screws grace our castle as pure decoration.

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When the final walls had been battened down, groups of children went off on their own to create accessories.  So far we have a chair, a trash can, and two mailboxes.  Signs and flags were also quickly posted on the structure.

It’s hard to believe this entire project was put together in one morning.  I wonder what direction it will take tomorrow?

Future Architects

With new supplies come the greatest resources of all….Big Boxes!  Add these to the incredibly creative minds of the very young, and you have an adventure unfolding before you.

2013Sep18_1080These boxes began their life in Pre-K as a series of individual rocket ships complete with steering wheels, viewing portals, and a myriad of buttons.  Today, our young architects transformed them into a large, multi-tiered house.  After some discussion regarding the best material for connecting the boxes, we choose Super Tape (secretly known as duct tape.)

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2013Sep18_1094The taping took some experimentation. Decisions had to be made about where the tape was mostly likely going to hold pieces together, how many pieces of tape might be required, and what to do if the tape rolled up on itself.

Negotiations also had to be made with others who were building.  Frequent confusion over box “ownership” led to productive discussions regarding sharing, community materials, and turn-taking.

Wonder what the construction will morph into tomorrow?