Balloons, cake, candles, piñata and presents…It’s a birthday! Your kid starts opening boxes and boxes, plays with the new toys and you have time to clean after the birthday party while she is engaged. You still haven’t put the leftovers away when the first “Look daddy!” happens. All the boxes have been piled up in the middle of the room and now are a high and steep mountain. The new action figures, the plush doll and the remaining food on the floor are trying to climb it. “Look daddy, they are going on a hike!” Imagination and creative thinking at its best! Unawarely you have provided a great learning opportunity that can last days.
The mere stacking of cardboard soon evolves to the need of windows and depending on your kid’s age that can mean scissors, markers or a whole experience with rulers and measurements. From imaginative play and some gross motor skills we are transitioning to a great way of strengthening your finger for pre-writing skills. The conversation about how to name the building is supporting your little’s one language expression and helping him make connections between playtime and the real world. And once the new “town” is created, there is space for physics when that enormous dinosaur can’t quite fit through the new window. There is math involved when you count all the blocks that are now forming a colorful tower next to the cardboard boxes. The child looks pretty entertained running around with the cars that speed through this city, so you have time to finish cleaning. You eventually are going to demolish the creation, totally or partially, and that is a great chance to talk about recycling, reusing, and nature. Definitively a great conversation starter and invitation to think about what else can we repurposed around the house.