Baby and Toddler Box Play

Aug 10, 2013

Ageapprox. 6 months to 2+ years (see bottom for tips)
(N was approx 13 months here. See bottom for tips to simplify or extend to meet your child's needs)

Materials: Lots of different sized and shaped boxes. Try to find some with lids etc.

Put smaller boxes inside larger boxes for them to discover and attempt to re-stack

Boxes with lids give them an extra challenge to open and replace. Put little pompoms or a small toy inside for them to discover.

Try building them up and knocking them down again.

Baby is Learning:

Fine motor skills
Hand and eye coordination
Shapes and Sizes. Many boxes are square shaped (cubes) but see if you can find rectangular, round and other various sizes and shapes. 
Colours. Talk about the different colours on the boxes
Emotions. Excitement, anticipation and enjoyment.
- Gross Motor. Stretching up to stack the boxes, moving around to collect them when they fall down.
Language from the interactions you have together and talking about your experiences.
- Congnitive Skills. What to do with the boxes. Open them, close them, build them up, knock them down, stack them inside one another, put things in, take things out. etc.
- Gravity. What goes up comes down!
- Object Permanence. Hide a little pompom under a box. Where has it gone? It's still there even though we can't see it.

Handy Tips:

Simplify this activity by playing "What's in the box" or by providing 3 different boxes that can be stacked inside one another. A large, medium and small box. Start with these and then add new boxes to discover next time you play. 

Extend this activity for older children by focusing on one skill at a time, such as building with the boxes or working on Object Permanence by hiding items inside or under a box and asking where it has gone. Repeat  many times.

Mix it up by adding other recyclable materials for them to explore the differences between and use to build and create with the boxes.

Repeat this activity as often as you like because all children need repetition to consolidate their learning and understanding. They will gain new insights each time they repeat the same activity.

Talk to your child about what they are doing. This will help them begin to understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well as helping develop their vocabulary. "What's in the box?" "What happens when you shake the box?" "Can you put that box inside that box?" etc.

Play with baby. Once they have explored on their own and been given an opportunity to discover on their own, you could show them how to build them up or how to replace a lid. etc.

Supervise. Small children need constant supervision.


Happy playing,
Debs :)

We like to play here as well. Come play with us :)
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