The Wonder of a Box

A friend of mine just replaced her dishwasher and refrigerator, but the educator in me was way more excited about the boxes that the appliances came in. Especially with the open-ended days of summer ahead of us. The boxes hold all the potential in the world to take kids on limitless adventures.

One of my favorite activities for boxes came from a youtube video called Caine’s Arcade. It’s the true story of Caine, a little boy who turned the boxes from his dad’s auto parts store into games for people to play, and the inspired adult who wanted to celebrate Caine’s creativity. My co-teacher and I loved the idea so much that we took some time after standardized testing to let our students explore their creativity and do some open-ended problem solving to create a 3rd and 4th grade cardboard arcade. Some of those students are now in high school and recall that as a favorite memory of their time in my class. I’ve posted the lesson plans for the arcade as a freebie for the month of June.

What else could students do with a box? Here is a very incomplete list. Add to it in the comments with your favorite creative uses for a box:

  • Build an arcade game
  • Make a time machine
  • Make a reading nook
  • Life-size gingerbread house
  • Build a car
  • Fly it like a plane
  • Play astronaut and spaceship
  • Slide on it down a hill
  • Use it for painting a masterpiece
  • Build an ark for stuffed animals
  • Build a castle
  • Turn it into a mini man-cave
  • Set up business as a food-truck
  • Make it into an igloo
  • Make a Halloween costume
  • Build a robot

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