- one large box for storing items
- recycled boxes, canisters, and containers, including large food boxes
(cereal, crackers, cookies, cake mix), milk cartons, diaper boxes, wipe
containers, shoeboxes, gift boxes, canisters (oatmeal, coffee), and
large yogurt or cottage cheese containers
- masking tape
- brown butcher paper
- tempera paint (two to three colors) and paintbrushes
- camera and film
Objective: Children will
build with large recycled boxes and containers to enhance their creative,
language, math, social, and large-motor development.
In Advance: Send a note
home to families requesting donations of the suggested recycled boxes,
canisters, containers, and newspapers. Store the recycled materials in
the large cardboard box.
- Prepare the donated items for children. Lightweight boxes can be
filled with newspaper and closed with masking tape. Use masking tape
to close canisters, cartons, and box lids. Cover some of the recycled
items with brown paper for children to paint.
- Prepare a table area with painting materials. Invite a small group
of children to choose an item to paint. Engage children in conversation
as they design their blocks. Encourage them to identify colors and learn
the names of the shapes that they are painting. When they are finished,
place the recycled blocks in the block area.
- Invite small groups of children to the block area to build with the
recycled blocks. Provide them with props and materials to incorporate
in their play schemes (dolls, cars, fabric, animals, and so on). Young
children enjoy carrying, filling, and pushing blocks around.
- Photograph the processes children are engaging in as they make, then
build with, their recycled blocks, as well as their completed work.
Remember: Children will
need adequate space when working with larger building materials. If indoor
space is limited, it is best to have no more than two to three children
building at one time.
Literacy: Our Big Block Book. Using the photos you have taken,
create a class book documenting the different ways children use the recycled
blocks. Glue children's photographs onto sheets of paper and invite children
to dictate information about their photographs. Bind the pages together
and create a cover and title for the book. Place the book in the class
library area or block area.
by Pat Hutchins
(Scholastic Inc.; $3.50)
Machines at Work
by Byron Barton
(HarperCollins Children's Books, 1997; $6.95)
Tonka, Building the Skyscraper
by Justine Korman-Fontes
(Cartwheel, 1999; $3.50)