While on the topic of boxes, the fun of shoeboxes just can’t be ignored…
· Punch multiple holes in the top and sides of a shoebox. Place an assortment of old silk scarves, colourful pieces of fabric, or scraps of ribbon inside the shoebox, threading just the tip of each piece of fabric out through the holes. Tape the lid of the box securely shut, and watch the fun as your baby pulls the pieces of fabric out through the holes. This is a great fine motor activity, and most little ones just love the element of surprise.
· Cut a round hole in the top of a shoebox and give your baby a set of balls (ping pong or golf balls work well) to drop inside. This is a great stepping stone to playing with shape sorters and puzzles. Helpful Hint: Round shapes are the first that children learn to match, followed by squares and then triangles. Starting with just round shapes is great practice for little ones roughly 10 to 12 months of age.
· Cut a rectangular slit in the top of the box to create a little “mail slot”. Give your toddler or preschooler a pile of old junk mail, and join in on the fun as they put mail into the mail box and take it back out again.
· Older children will enjoy decorating their own little “mailbox” with paint, felts, crayons or stickers. Help your child write their name and address on their mailbox, then choose a place for it in your child’s room or outside of their door. Siblings will enjoy making and delivering “mail” to one another’s mailboxes. And from time to time, try surprising your child by “sending” them a little letter or package to discover.