Empty Boxes Should Be In Every Early Childhood Classroom
One of favorite picture books is “Not A Box” by Antoinette Portis. https://www.harpercollins.com/9780061123221/not-a-box/
In the book, a bunny pretends a box is a variety of things. Young children seem to instinctually use boxes this way. They can be forts, garages, castles, cars, trains, a cozy place to curl up like a cat with a friend, a basketball hoop, or a trillion other things a young child can imagine. You don’t even just have to use imagination. Children can paint or cut up an old box to make it fit into how they want to play with it. They can also practice writing on the box and write things like “Store” or “Tatooine” or whatever they want to label it as. Even better, if a old box gets ruined or destroyed, it’s just an old box not an expensive piece of equipment so as a parent or teacher you don’t always have to remind children to be careful or use it gently. It is also a way to involve parents and families. You can put out request for families to donate any unwanted boxes they might have around the house. This is also teaching young children to reuse items and when the children are done with them or have broken the boxes, you can always recycle them at the end which is another lesson.
As a teacher you can document all the ways children use the boxes and the vocabulary and conversations they have while playing with the box as part of assessment of children’s development.