What is it about a box?
We know children from babies on up adore playing with a box. You’ve all probably witnessed the familiar scene at a birthday party when the child disregards the present inside the box and begins playing with or chewing on the box instead.
A box can be whatever one wants it to be and that’s what makes it so attractive. There are no batteries, no instructions, no breakable parts. A box is child-fueled by both imagination and energy.
This certainly proved true on Thursday at Family Resources Drive-in Movie night. The hit of the evening for the children (and I believe the adults) was the box – oops I mean the “car” the children selected and personalized from the Motor Town Auto Parts available to them.
When the children arrived, they were given pretend money to purchase their car from Motor Town Used Cars. The cars were pre-painted and ready for a custom finish. Licenses and license plates were given out at our DMV and from there the children were free to make their car their own. They did just that, with a little help from the adults and quite a bit of duct tape.
There were absolutely no two cars alike.
The one thing that all the children shared, however, was pure delight in their vehicles.
Times like this strongly reinforce for me that pretend play doesn’t have to be a dying art, even in the fast-paced, computerized world we find ourselves in. It is so definitely second nature to our children if only the time and raw materials are offerred to them.
So keep this in mind on the next rainy day. Give your child a box and let your child prove to you – it’s not a box any longer.
A fun children’s book on this subject is Not a Box by Antoinette Portis; also by her is Not a Stick.