Christmas: 'tis the season for boxes!

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Have you ever noticed that young children are sometimes more interested in the wrapping paper and boxes rather than the toys that are inside? Developmentally, young children don’t need expensive toys to play with and research tells us that it is often simple items that are best for learning and language development.

Boxes offer lots of opportunuties for learning and play for young children

Playing with boxes and paper offers endless opportunities for children’s learning and involve both a sensory and physical experience. This type of play has no rules, and allows children to use their imagination. A box can be anything from a train, to a helmet, to a cubby house.

If you see your child is playing with a box, take time to chat about what they are doing: “You’re in that box” or “I can see you’re hiding under the box.” Using descriptive words like this helps very young children learn about how positional words (like in, on, under, beside and over) work and what they mean.

So, this year at Christmas, get everyone’s imagination firing for maximum brain building and spend time exploring boxes with your child - as well as the surprises that arrived inside them!

For inspiration you might even like to share stories with your little one about boxes:

Not a box by Antoinette Portis

What to do with a box by Jane Yolen

My cat likes to hide in boxes by Eve Sutton

A box story by Kenneth Kit Lamug

Christina Katerina and the box by Patricia Lee Gauch

Cardboard creation by Barbara Rucci


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