Mixed Age Box Play

I’m yet to meet a child who doesn’t enjoy a good rummage in a box, opening and closing lids and moving thing from one place to another; unless it’s to tidy up of course!!

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For this mixed age activity, I gathered a selection of boxes…

  • Gift boxes
  • Wooden craft boxes with hinges
  • Small, circular lunch boxes
  • Large fake book box
  • Tiny gift boxes

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Then I put some petals in a tray and added some tongs.

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This completely open-ended activity suited both J and G as they could interpret it and do what they wanted to do.  Obviously, I was present the whole time to ensure that G did not put any petals in her mouth. Although to be honest, she didn’t even attempt to.  She had just had a snack and this meant she is less likely to mouth the petals as she was full up.  I adore seeing my two angels playing alongside each other; so special!!

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What did G do?

There was lots of investigation about how the boxes open and closed and plenty of happy looks when she managed to open and close them independently!  This developed G’s fine motor control and coordination!

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She took a particular liking to the two tiny gift boxes… throwing them around, turning them over and over in her hands and walking around with them, banging them together to make a sound.

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Through her investigative skills, she also had a gross motor workout, bending down to pick up the boxes she wanted.

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The next thing she discovered was the tiny boxes fit inside the bigger box.  She sat down and examined this more closely.  What a clever girl!


It is amazing how engrossed and intrigued such a young baby can become in a new discovery! This really was true learning happening:  something small fits inside something big! Brilliant!


G got so much out of this activity, I would strongly recommend it! She is only just one, so suitable from one! This is also suitable for those way beyond one as the open-ended nature means the sky is the limit! J did something completely differently and role played what he has recently been seeing!

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What did J do?

As J always does, he made Mummy happy by demonstrating his fine motor skills! He used the tong to move all of the petals from the tray to the big book box!

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He then divided the petals out between the different shaped boxes.

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As he did so, he asked what my favourite colour was and how many I wanted! I soon realised he was putting orders together!. I asked him what he was doing and he replied, ‘I have a new job Mummy! I have got lots of deliveries to make !’

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As J completed his orders, he carefully stacked them so that he could deliver them!  He too had a gross motor workout, as he carried all of the boxes in one go! He delivered them to his sister and me and was VERY professional!! Haha! The fact J used this open-ended play to immerse himself in a role play world was just fabulous! True open-ended play at it’s best! This was such a simple activity to set up and both a three (nearly four) year old and one year old got so much from it at their own level!! Perfect! Open-mouthed smile

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