If you can learn with cans, why not boxes? We collected empty cardboard boxes for a few weeks to make “box blocks.” For boxes that didn’t close on their own, I taped them shut. The kids really got excited about adding to our box collection. And we were able to see just how many boxes our family uses…and have a talk about the importance of recycling! That is a learning experience in itself, but here are some other things you can teach with boxes…

*Common Core Standards appear in italics. They co**rrelate with specific standards in different grade levels. These standards are used in almost every school in the country. Click the Common Core tab above to learn more.)*

**Colors-**Talk about the different colors on the boxes, then divide them into groups or make a rainbow.**Size-**Compare sizes of boxes. Put them in order from smallest to biggest.**Counting**– How many boxes in all? Count how many you can stack in a tower.**Addition and Subtraction**– How many cereal boxes plus fruit snack boxes do we have?*(first grade- Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction)***Geometry-**Talk about 2D vs 3D. Use the word rectangular prism. How many rectangles make up a box?*(kindergarten- Identify shapes as two-dimensional or three-dimensional)***Measurement-**Use a ruler to measure boxes length, width, and depth.*(second grade- Measure and estimate lengths in standard units)***Classification-**Sort the boxes into groups based on color, size, or type of food.*(kindergarten- Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count)***Reading**– Beginning readers might be able to read some of the labels using the picture as a clue. If they know it is a pizza box, see if they can pick out the word “pizza.”**Letters-**Try to make letters or even words out of the small boxes.**Creative building**– Design your own sculpture with box blocks!

Or combine all the above into a scavenger hunt. Scatter the boxes around the room and then shout out things to find. “Find a green box and bring it to me. Which box would we use to eat breakfast? Find the largest box. Can you find the letter T on a box?” This is great way to get kids moving and learning at the same time.