Fireflies Box Play

"Me box too?" asked one of the Fireflies. "My turn box", asked another. Their fascination with the joy that is boxes started out so simple and evolved into much more!

At first, it was pure exploration that fueled the morning activities. They used the boxes as a basis for discovery games such as "peekaboo". The Fireflies sat in the boxes, both alone and in groups. They had to discover which boxes had room for pairs or groups of children and which would only accommodate one. The negotiations in these instances were rich in vocabulary and social skill practice.

They threw toys into the boxes and retrieved them and explored the boxes from every angle. Opening and closinghe flaps changed the children's understanding and use of any particular box. They then decided to use one large box as a "house". The Fireflies took turns being inside and outside the house and passed objects between. Concepts such as inside/outside, in/out and up/down were explored. They even went so far as to grab chairs, blankets and babies to furnish their house. It was one of their first real collaborative efforts.

As time went on, interest gradually faded and one idea and turned into another. They decided to use some of the boxes as their canvas for a group painting project. That then became part of their Mother's day gifts. It gave the children such pride to tell their mothers "I made that" and to have it be so real.

The focus on boxes may have waned, but the boxes have had a lasting impact on our classroom setup.

One structure has since gained a canopy and comfy pillows and become a quiet nook in the classroom. It is a place where the children can find a peaceful moment or share time with a friend.

A final enduring addition to our classroom is a box tunnel that connects two play areas together. The new space invites the children to be more social and verbal; since you never know who's on the other side!