In the Yellow Room, we have books which we return to again and again because they speak so well to children. One that has quickly become a Yellow Room classic, is “It’s Not A Box” by Antoinette Portis.
With very few words, “It’s Not A Box” conveys a simple but engaging dialogue between a rabbit and an invisible audience, describing all the things that the “Not a Box” is. The book effectively demonstrates how a plain box can be an exciting transformative vehicle for a child’s imagination and creative play.
Our Yellow Roomers have already begun to discover how cardboard boxes can be physically transformed into something else. We used boxes as building material in a paper mache construction project in which we assembled a slide and an apartment house for our foxes. Yellow Roomers are are equally happy to explore all the possibilities boxes have to offer in their original unaduterated state. We often set several empty boxes out on the floor alongside small manipulative objects like puzzles and observe our youngest gleefully push their “cars, row their “boats,” or load their “trucks” with small blocks or puzzle pieces.
Recently we introduced a very large box: a giant cube with no visible opening. We discussed how the box was big enough for the children to go inside, and that we could make an opening to get into it. The next day, the box was on the floor and the children were thrilled to see two openings had been cut, one on either side, to make a tunnel. The Children immediately began peeking through the opening, laughing to see a friend’s face peeping through the other side. A few intrepid Yellow Roomers decided to venture forth through the cavernous space.
After work time, we sang a song from another favorite Yellow Room book, “The Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night.” We noticed a door cut into a hill where the fox lived with his family in their den. We decided to call our “Not A Box” a fox den, because it’s such a cozy hiding place for our adventurous Yellow Roomers to crawl in and out of.