folding-boxby M. Cohen-Schoenberg CCC-SLP

I am looking at the packaging of the Lala Paloosa Ponies Carosel 3. 3 times I wanted to throw it out. 3 times I looked at its intricate details. Then I watched the enjoyment of some 5 year old clients playing with it. Kids find great play value in it. It was probably designed for that. The kids know it right away but an adult has to think twice.

When two- year- olds get birthday presents, they are sometimes more interested in the box and the wrapping than the $50 gift. Here’s an inspirational thought! Let’s get some mileage out of boxes for creative therapy materials. I got a great idea from the home of one of my clients. They had a box with baby and animal pictures on it.  In addition, there was a bell inside. It was suggested by their Early Childhood Family Educator. Children who are 2 and 3 love to carry this around. When we moved from looking at picture books with nouns to verbs it was a natural progression to put action pictures on a box.

I found some verb pictures on line and created a verb box. One client loves violins, I made a violin out of a box and cardboard. This was modeled by the early preschool Suzuki lessons my son took many years ago.

Bubble wrap. What great play value! This needs supervision for safety but you can practice words and pop a bubble for reinforcement. The large size bubbles are especially good. Precaution:   Because this could get very loud , it is not recommended for a child who may wear a hearing aid.

I received a drinking glass set with Beatle pictures. Each morning I have a fun choice. Should I take my vitamins with John, Paul, George or Ringo.? The 3D cardboard set -in with the round slots for the glasses made a great beanbag toss game.

Look at packaging for safe play ideas. Once you start thinking in this innovative way, you will realize that you don’t need to get expensive toys to get the most play value!