Cardboard Box Approach

It is a very common understanding that children are more interested in the box
that the gift arrives in, rather than the gift itself – ever
wondered why?
As adults we have learned through the years that the box is merely the
packaging to something more exciting, something more than the box.
To a child that box is everything they have even wanted. It is a blank
canvas, limited only by their imagination
and time.
That box, no matter how big or small, is
the most amazing, open ended resource
that they could ever want! That box, that
cardboard box, is a space ship, a car, a train, a hideout, a
shop, a house – literally anything! The adventure begins within
the child. A spark of excitement rushes through their bodies
and with every thought and movement they make they
become even more excited, deepening their involvement with
the idea, their imagination and their learning.
When children are excited, they become sponges
for learning. Like a sponge they absorb information
and new ideas that are all around them. They begin to develop a growth mindset
that triggers in itself, a desire for more learning, more information. They problem
solve, they take risks, they grow their minds as they test their
own knowledge.
Remember that feeling of pure excitement? – the one before
life experiences hardened you to the awe and wonder around you?
Children still have that, and it is the role of the early years practitioner to
ensure that the innocence and passion for the world they live stays at the
core of every day! That the amazing world we live in creates possibilities
that are endless and exciting.
At Little Angels our Cardboard Box Approach gives children resources – it is
a toy free setting so that children can use their imaginations to explore the
world. Our settings are an extension of the home rather than a diluted
version of a classroom – after all, children do well where they feel confident
and secure, the home is often that place. That is why it is important for the
learning environment to be designed with familiar objects in complimentary
contrast with exciting ‘bits and bobs’.
Moore (1982) wrote “The end product of
education or schooling is someone who has
improved by what has happened to that
person” Positive experiences with peers and
skilful practitioners support brain growth and
development in children. Exposure to risk
creates resilience and helps them to
understand all aspects of how it feels to
experience stress hormones – a transferable
life skill that is not only essential to growth but
also survival!
Learning comes from a direct and personal experience of a child (Wilson, 1969).
Putting the children at the heart of our pedagogy, in the very essence of the planning of the
physical environment, the sourcing of materials, resources and equipment ensure that every
child is excited to learn. Children feed into every aspect of the intent, implementation and
delivery of the quality of care and education being delivered.
The setting is there place to feel contained and learn respect,
emotional intelligence, and all about themselves, who they are and
what they are capable of.