Large scale structures implies capacities, abilities and perceptions completely different from a small scale structure.

The dialogue between the macro materials will take children to reflect about volume, weight, shape, force and space occupancy.

The challenge with their own body and the extension of the structures can lead to the development of space awareness and gross motor skills.

What Could Lead Us to This Play Invitation

  • Children have shown a keen interest in constructing things whether it’s miniature structures, or even attempting to build larger structures;
  • Children may have been asking questions about size, weight, and how things work differently when they are larger or heavier.;
  • Children are excited about climbing, carrying, or moving objects, showing a need for opportunities that engage their gross motor skills.

Materials Needed

• Big cardboard boxes and tubes.
• Cable spools.

Setting up this Play Invitation

  1. Collect different large cardboard boxes, cable spools, and cardboard tubes.
  2. Display them in a wide space.

    Tip: Sometimes we like to display the materials in an organized way so children can immediately see how many of each type or size they have.

How to Explore

  1. Invite children to use these materials and build large structures.
  2. Listen to children’s narratives and the symbolic meanings children give to the structures they build.

Optional Next Step: Use the structures for symbolic play on the following days. You can add some props that you consider will scaffold their play (and you’ll know this from the conversations they had while exploring these materials).

How to Nurture the Natural Unfolding of the Child’s Identity During This Play Invitation

  • Children have the right to unstructured opportunities for exploration, enabling them to invent their own games and scenarios. This empowers them to develop independence and enhances their problem-solving skills.
  • Children have the right to play invitations that encourage and challenge them to use their whole body, such as playing with big cardboard boxes and tubes. This fosters physical development, spatial awareness, and creativity.

The Academic Learning Opportunities

  • SCIENCE: Explore balance, size, shape, and weight.
  • PHYSICAL: Build on their motor skills, reach, arm strength, and flexibility, and develop visual-spatial relationships.
  • SOCIAL: Collaboration and cooperation, taking turns, listening, and including others’ ideas.
  • ART: Elaborate a mental plan and execute it, developing creativity and problem-solving, Explore volume, size, and composition.


  • Challenge children to create obstacle courses using the boxes and tubes, enhancing their physical dexterity and problem-solving abilities.

Book Recommendation

An inspiring story about the wonder of having a rainbow to play with.