Coloured cardboard boxes
Of all the homemade toys and activities I’ve made over the years using common household items, this is my all-time favourite!
One of the reasons I love this drop box so much is because it provides so many learning activities for toddlers and preschoolers. As they play, the hooligans are learning how to sort shapes, colours, numbers and letters, and dropping the items through the corresponding holes requires focus, and develops fine motor control and hand-eye co-ordination.
From box to DROP box:
I traced the foam shapes and cut those holes with the craft knife. I outlined the cut-outs with the Sharpies to make a “match and drop” area.
For the paint swatches, I cut 8 slots in the box, and outlined each one with a different colour of marker. The paint chips are various shades of each colour, so the Hooligans have to decide which colour family each paint chip belongs to before dropping it into the box.
Next, I drew upper and lower case letters on the craft sticks, and made a small drop-slot for each one. On the backs of the sticks, I drew coloured circles, squares and triangles, for the youngest hooligans who haven’t yet learned their letters.
I picked out several coloured blocks from our block bucket, and drew corresponding shaped and coloured holes for those to be dropped through.
And the final activity was numbers. A few dominoes and numbered holes will encourage counting and matching.
When I was finished, I cut 2 holes to sink a couple of plastic containers into. These hold some of the materials while the kids are using the dropbox.
What skills are developed while playing with this cardboard drop box?
- fine motor skills
- spacial awareness
- colour recognition
- number recognition
- shape recognition
- letter recognition
- problem solving
- critical thinking
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