Monday, October 14, 2013

Cardboard Challenge, part 1

Last weekend, we invited kids and families to design and construct original creations using cardboard, recycled materials and their imaginations.  The event was part of Global Cardboard Challenge, the second annual worldwide celebration of child creativity and the role of communities in fostering imaginative play, inspired by the video Caine's Arcade. They created castles, bridges, spaceships and much more!

We saw a lot of intriguing inventions, focused building and some wonderful collaboration.

An 8-year-old boy spent almost 45 minutes building a cannon from a large cylinder – first figuring out how to support it, then adding components like a battery and fuse. He got help from Museum staff and his caregiver when he needed it, with tape and a box cutter, but mostly worked independently and was incredibly focused.

A family of four worked diligently on three different houses! An older brother and sister worked together to create an elaborate structure that included a chimney, a porch with a bed and some pretty fancy hand-drawn wallpaper, while mom built her own red-roofed home.

Meanwhile, across the room, their young cousin claimed a large abandoned house and made it his own by adding a basket of balls to the interior and used lots of tape to form traffic barriers to secure the exterior.

A team of four kids repurposed another house, adding charming details over a period of many hours. When complete, it included tied back velvet curtains, a window box with flowers, a stained glass window, vines crawling over an outside grate, French doors, a comfy bed, a shelf stocked with toys, books and vases, and a security alarm.

A girl, about 8, created an incredible playground diorama, including a basketball hoop, seesaw, slide and trashcan. "I'm going to make the swings at home," she said proudly.

A determined boy spent quite some time constructing the "Providence bridge," thoughtfully finding just the right parts before carefully adding them on.

One of many fabulous castles that emerged throughout the weekend.

We saw lot of great grown-up play – adults playing on their own, supporting their kids’ play without taking over, being helpers and taking directions from their children, and more.

Parents built an impressive sailboat together while their 4-year-old daughter busied herself playing elsewhere.

A dad with two small children stayed for nearly the entire activity on Saturday. First they created the wall of a house, which they colored with chalk and dad embellished with colorful foam shapes. Then they each made their own smaller creations, including train tracks and a house. They had so much fun they came back on Sunday, too!

A mom and dad and their 10-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son, who create a lot of "inventions" at home, split into parent/child teams. The daughter created a cradle for her pet bunny, using loose parts to construct a dangling mobile, while mom decorated the headboard.

A family – mom, grandmom and two boys – created an interesting "factory on a ship that makes electricity."

And that's not nearly all – more stories of creative cardboard constructions will follow!


Gwynn Torres said...

What a wonderful project! Everyone knows kids often like the box better than the toy that came in it.

The Creativity Institute

Alice (from Imagination Foundation) said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this thoughtful follow-up. So great to hear about all the interaction - and adults participating but knowing when to get out of the way!

Megan Fischer, Providence Children's Museum said...

Thanks, Gwynn and Alice - we had such an amazing time and can't wait to do it again next year!