One of our favorite books to read to our students is “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis.

The wonderful thing about this book is that there are so many fun activities you can do with your students once you’ve read this book. Today, I want to outline just a few that we’ve done in the past.

Starting our Morning

To begin the morning, Mrs. Stewart had boxes laid all around the circle time rug. Each box was labeled “A Box for (insert child’s name)”. She did this for every child in the class! When we were ready to begin circle time, the children were directed to go find the box with their name and sit on it. While Mrs. Stewart read the book and walked through her circle time activities the children set on their boxes!

During circle time, Mrs. Stewart had the children do a variety of “tricks” on their box, as well as talking about different kinds of boxes and what they could be used for. After all, this is a book that promotes lots of imagination!

Table Activities

The first “Not a Box” inspired activity we did was a tabletop easel! This one was super easy to make too. All you need to do is assemble a square box, attach some wooden clothespins on each side, add some paper and palettes, and there you go. A box turned into a table top easel.

The next table top activity we had out was in our art area of the classroom. We had the students carry their boxes upstairs and bring them to the tables. We told the children that the could do whatever they wanted with their boxes and turn them into whatever they wanted! As always, our students surprised us with some amazing creations.

Taking Boxes Outside

The next activity we did was so fun and so simple. Inspired by using our imaginations, we had the children help us gather larger boxes from the garage. We then worked together to turn these boxes into a castle.

Towards the end of the morning, some of the older students decided to try and roll in the their boxes. This book is perfect for promoting imagination in your classroom! All you need is the book and a handful of cardboard boxes to make this a meaningful experience in your classroom.

Things to consider

  • Make sure to emphasize the imagination part of this process with your students, this is a good skill for them to work on.
  • As your reading the book, don’t jump into over explaining, just read the book!
  • Have fun! This book and the activities to follow are simple and easy to do, so relax and have fun with your students.

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