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We love using books as a starting part for creative loose parts play! Boxes are one of our favorite man-made loose parts as they can be so many things! I think many of us have told stories of the "perfect" toy we got our child and the child just plays with the box. Boxes and cardboard can be so engaging!
I like using cardboard for many reasons--it is so versatile! A box can be almost anything! Additionally, boxes are made with cardboard. We get boxes in the mail all the time. I like that these can be repurposed for other creations and then recycled when we are done with them. The price point is low (free!) and it is readily accessible. It can easily be customized with markers, fabric, paint, etc., if needed.
I have always been impressed with the following video about a young boy who built his own cardboard arcade. What inspiration.
I also recently found this video of men fighting in cardboard armor! Wow! This is pretty impressive to see the lengths they went through for it.
Here are a few books about boxes as loose parts that stand out:
Not a Box
What to Do with a Box
A Box Can Be Many Things
A Box Story
Christina Katerina and the Box
A Big Box for Ben
I find having a few resource books to show techniques and inspiration can be great to help us work through design problems and gives us more ideas. My son who is most into creating stuff always wants to make his own designs, but finds inspiration in books like this at times.
How To Books and Ideas:
The Cardboard Box Book
Box! Castles, Kitchens and other Cardboard Creations for Kids
Look What You Can Make with Tubes
The Art of Cardboard
The Big Book of Building
The Cardboard Box Book
For the older crowd:
I have found that having a few tools handy can help with using cardboard with children. Obviously the cutting tools and glue guns will need more training and supervision if children are using these. An alternative is to allow children to draw what they would like cut and then cut it for them.
Resources to help with Using Boxes and Cardboard:
Low Temp Glue Gun
Watch for more cardboard ideas and how we have been implementing cardboard as a loose part in upcoming posts and on Facebook. Feel free to share how you use cardboard as well!
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