Prep: 15 Minutes / Activity Time: 15-20 Minutes

Have you ever bought your child a new toy and he was more interested in playing with the box than the toy? When that happens, turn it into an opportunity to build your child’s letter knowledge in a fun way. He will be having so much fun that he will not know that he is learning!

  • large empty box
  • cutter (for adult use only)
  • markers or paint

Step 1:  Bring a large empty box into the room and watch your child’s excitement. 

Step 2:  Ask your child what he would like the box to become. Give him some ideas. It could become a car, a house, a restaurant, a train, a clubhouse, a castle; the possibilities are endless. 

Step 3:  Cut the necessary doors and openings in the box. Then decorate the box with your child using markers or paint. Let your child’s imagination and creativity flourish. 

Step 4:  Be sure that you include your child’s name on the box in big, bold letters. On another part of the box, you might label the box (e.g., Car, Train, Princess Castle). Bring your child’s attention to the letters and words on the box as well as any pictures you have drawn. You might point to the letters and tell your child, “Look at all these letters. Letters help us make words.” Point to the pictures and say, “These are pictures. This is a flower and this is a bird.” These simple discussions will help your child realize that there is a difference between a picture and a word. 

Step 5:  Gather some stuffed animals and have fun pretend playing with this new favorite toy – the box! 

Increase the amount of support and prompting you give your child.  

Reduce the amount of support you give your child to make it harder. Ask questions and expect your child to contribute more fully to the decision making, the design and the creation of the box.