Let's face it, I like cardboard boxes. I especially like big boxes because big boxes allow for the creation of appealing spaces that the children can explore inside and out with their whole bodies. One of the things I like to do with big boxes is to connect them to form a fort with interconnecting rooms with multiple ways in and out and multiple windows to peek in and out of. Two years ago, I wrote about a box fort I set up the large muscle area of my classroom.
The play was so good and so rich, that I wanted to do it again when the opportunity presented itself in the form of multiple big boxes. It just so happened that last November my daughter and son-in-law moved back to town with a moving company. Moving companies use wardrobe boxes for packing up clothes. I asked for the boxes and saved four for a new box fort for the large muscle area. Large boxes are easily transported if they are broken down so they are flat. They can easily be taped back together to make the big box again.
I have a small SUV so I was able to transport them to school and reconstruct them with duct tape. Below you can see this year's box fort. All four boxes are taped together on the outside and on the inside for greater stability. Boxes 1, 3 and 4 have doors into the fort.
Besides the doors, there are six windows. Windows 1, 2, 3, and 4 are on the sides of boxes. Windows 3 and 4 are small narrow windows on two sides of the middle box Windows 5 and 6 are cut in the top of two of the boxes.
The windows offer unique frames through which the children can view each other---both from the inside and from the outside.
There is one particular type of play in and around the fort that caught my eye this year. That particular type of play can be considered literacy play. Let's start on the inside. The fort became a perfect spot for a child to retreat to do her writing.