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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

forts and boxes

"I became aware of another variety of playacting several years ago. A graduate student at Leslie University made an appointment to see me. When me met, Mark tolld me that he had taught at a Montessori school nearby. He said that he was intrigued by something he had observed during the children's lunch hour. Both boys and girls would go into the woods and build makeshift "forts" out of tree limbs, rocks and brush. ... I was indeed intrigued by the idea of forts because it was a facet of child life that I knew nothing about, despite many years in the field."
From The Power of Play by David Elkind

As much as I loved the book, this is one section I found surprising. David, where have you been studying kids at play to not know about forts or about related structures that kids love to build? I recall using blankets and pillows on our bunk beds to make a private play space. It became a fort when one of my brothers or sisters try to enter.

We moved a couple of times and each time my daughters and their friends loved playing with the moving boxes. On the last move here to Franklin, the arrangement of boxes; large wardrobe, big dinnerware, and smaller book boxes all became quite elaborately connected with Duct tape. There were doors, windows and tunnels. Then the outsides were decorated with markers, the floors were covered with extra area rugs or old towels. It became something of a kids Taj Mahal made of boxes.

And what family has not seen some little kids opening presents on either their birthday or around the holidays, where the kid has been more enthralled with the wrapping paper and the box than the toy itself?

Sometimes the simplest box can become the most fabulous toy!

When was the last time you played with a box?

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