First, let's talk shape. Kids are pretty good at identifying shapes. This is a good one for any age!
What type of objects fit in a box?
Can you fit different boxes within boxes? Who needs nesting toys when packaging is so plentiful?
How many different things can you pack into a box? Include baby, and trust me, baby will have fun helping you take everything back out (and putting it back in again!)! I live for the giggles that occur when babies are having scientific fun!
Then, there's make believe fun! You can make boxes into just about anything using your imagination. I won't go into too much detail, but I am convinced that boxes are great inexpensive structural engineering materials for kids. I'm sure if you use your imagination, you can justify making castles, forts, kitchen sets, cars, trains, etc. for "science".
|J driving his car at 6 months!|
Next, let's talk trajectories (yes, this is me getting giddy). Yay, physics! I was helping J clean up his toys, but I was being lazy and didn't want to get up. J pulled down his toy bin, and I threw a ball into the bin (now, I'm really not that sporty or coordinated). I didn't think anything of it until J squealed with delight. Then we played a little basketball, but Mommy mixed it up a little.
For background purposed: trajectories need a vertical and a horizontal component. You can hit the same target through multiple trajectory paths. Show that you can throw the ball multiple ways and still (hopefully) make a basket.
Can you throw it a ball up high and still make it in the box?
If you miss, how can you change your throw to try again?
How far away can you stand and still make it into the box?
How hard can you throw? (Maybe, try that one outside)
What happens when you switch balls/throwing materials? Maybe put a lot of force into a lighter Nerf type ball, but it won't go as far as as a solid ball. Why is that?
Can you put a spin to the ball? How does that affect your basket making capabilities?
Color different boxes (wrapping paper, construction paper, tempera paint) and have your kid throw into a specific box color. If you're super creative or have a lot of time on your hands (I'm envious), make cute bean bag toss targets (like a clown with an open mouth - or something that won't scare your kid).
Time your games. How many balls can you make into the basket in a given time? How long does it take you to make all of your balls into the basket? Can you beat your high score?
Most of all, have fun! This started out as what I thought would be a one time thing, but J loves playing makeshift basketball now (as you can see from the pictures above, we haven't moved far from the target yet). Let me know how your games go and any other suggestions to add to why and how boxes are scientific.