Thursday, October 9, 2014

More than just a box

So, I have to confess something:  I have a thing for cardboard boxes.  I have my youngest son to thank for this little affinity.   From a very young age, he has wanted to keep nearly every box that enters our home.  He always has great plans for the boxes and uses his imagination and creativity to make wonderful projects with them.  We have gone through many cardboard "treasures" over the years.  For more amazing cardboard inspiration, be sure to check out Caine's Arcade.  I discovered this over the summer and it is worth seeing.  Pretty amazing stuff.

Given this cardboard passion of mine, it should come as no surprise that I happily acquired a large cardboard box from our school custodian last week.  The conversation went something like this:

Ken:  (walking down the stairs as I was walking up)  Do you want this box?
Miss Moritz:  (hearing Ken) No.
Mrs. Lambert (that's me!):  YES!!!!!!  I totally want that box.  Give it to me right now.
Ken:  What are you going to do with it?
Me:  I don't know yet.  Something awesome.

Since we have been studying trees, I immediately decided that we needed to make a tree-house/tree fort with the box.  So, the next day I plopped that bad boy in the middle of our art table and let the littles go to town painting it with brown paint.  It was interesting how my morning and afternoon class approached this task quite differently.  My morning littles were excited about painting the box, but lost interest in it quickly.  My afternoon littles, on the other hand, were quite determined to cover the remaining "tan" areas of the box with the brown paint and worked the entire centers time on painting it.  I was happy to overhear one little say to another little, while painting, "We're having a great day, aren't we, Charlie?"  This innocent little comment reminded me of how much we all (bigs and littles alike) love to be swept up in a project.  It makes us feel important and vital.  It fuels our energy and our souls.

Miss Moritz (our resident artiste) generously decided to take the box home for the weekend after the littles painted the sides and top.  She put the finishing touches on the box and turned it into an amazing playspace that I'm sure the littles will enjoy very much over the next couple of weeks.

So, the next several photos illustrate the evolution of the box.  The littles had fun slapping brown paint all over it.  And the afternoon littles voted to determine what color the doors of the fort would be painted (purple!).  I used a box cutter to cut a little flap into the side where they can peek out.  This has upped the fun factor quite tremendously.  This little fort has been rocking from all the play action it has had!!

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