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Cardboard Challenge
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Wildwood prides itself on this simple, yet profound educational philosophy: Brave thinkers, learners, and doers.  This week, students in the Seal Pod were able to apply these important skills during explorations time.  Explorations is a time for students to investigate their classroom. They may build, paint, play games, partake in dramatic play, or sew.


Students brought cardboard boxes for the Cardboard Challenge, inspired by Caine’s Arcade–a movie that became a movement to foster creativity worldwide.


Students excitedly planned, cut, colored, taped, and created their very own game arcades. Some students collaborated, and others worked alone. While there were some students who had a hard time figuring out what to make, with the gentle prodding of adults and friends, all children eventually transformed a regular cardboard box into an imaginative game.


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Through this creative play, students had the opportunity to be innovative, curious problem solvers (sometimes the tape didn’t keep parts together) and responsible in how they handled the materials used.  For those who felt challenged, a short discussion on being “brave” and trying one’s best was an essential life skill put in action. Students created many different types of games: a foosball table, a pirate ship, a car, a soccer field, a puppet show, and a hockey rink–scoreboard included! It was amazing to see how involved and invested they were during the Cardboard Challenge. As we walked around and asked students to tell us about their games, they explained how they constructed it and what inspired them. Some even said they were going to create more games out of cardboard at home.


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Moreover, children can also create, construct, and use their imagination at home using a myriad of materials. I hope this inspires other educators and parents to partake in the Cardboard Challenge and beyond.  It was tons of fun, and certainly a memorable experience for the students.


“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”

-O. Fred Donaldson (Pulitzer nominated author, and renowned play researcher)


By Gladys Barbieri,

Associate Teacher, Seal Pod

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