Ever notice how children of all ages seem to just love playing with a cardboard box? Play is serious business for toddlers and preschoolers, it gives them a chance to understand, explore and learn! All three of my kiddos just absolutely love when we play with a cardboard box, they play together and usually come up with really fun games. Bonus: They are figuring out how to share, take turns, be patient and using their creativity.
Here are three engaging, simple and easy games for toddlers and preschoolers to play with a cardboard box:
Ramp it Up
Using giant foam blocks we propped up a large cardboard box to create a ramp. Using a sofa or another box could work too. With a container of small cars the kids had a blast, sending cars down the ramp, racing the cars down the ramp, building obstacles with smaller blocks on the ramp for cars to drive around, knock over etc… A lot of great questions came up during play, why the bigger cars roll faster, why some cars get stuck, why some cars don’t go in a straight line. My two year old also sorted many of the cars by color and the boys took turns trying to knock down obstacles they created for each other on the ramp.
Using a large cardboard box, we poked a hole in one of the walls and hooked up one of the dog leashes to make a handle (A rope works too). First I pulled all three kids around, singing songs, making silly stops around the house. Then they took turns going for rides alone. To keep things organized, each child waited their turn at the “Taxi Station” where they got to practice some patience as the taxi cab got stuck, the taxi driver stumbled, the taxi toppled over and so on. We also practiced some team work getting all three to figure out a way to pull me around for a ride which took ALL of their strength and some coordinating and made everyone laugh quite a lot!
Goopy Cardboard Balls
What kid doesn’t love some soaking wet goopy cardboard? We had parked the “taxi” on the balcony and found it later completely soaking wet. The boys started taking it apart and making goopy balls and throwing them around (I highly recommend playing this one only outside!) First I thought it was going to lead to a horrible mess, but not wanting to squash their creativity, I playfully offered them some containers to “aim” at and they loved this idea. Clean-up ended up being part of the game, the boys took turns trying to catch goops of cardboard into a garbage bag. Here again there was plenty of team work and some really creative thinking. All three children had fun discovering different ways they wanted to throw, rip, tear and manipulate the wet cardboard.
What do your children like to do with a cardboard box?