An innovative national project to stimulate creative thinking has creative kids answer the cardboard challenge to design whatever they imagine using cardboard boxes. Its very popular among children in pre-k and Kindergarten, and with older students as well.
As soon as four year old Vincent Herron got inside the cardboard boxes that formed a pretend rocket, his pre-k teacher Sherry Thomas asked if he was ready.
“We’re (going to) send him to the moon!” Ms. Thomas, of Jacksonville ISD’s Fred Douglass Elementary School, said.
As she taped together boxes that formed the rocket, she asked the students some questions.
“What are you (going to) see on the moon?
“Astronauts,” some answered.
“You’re (going to) see the aliens,” another girl said.
Although the “rocket” Vincent sat inside of was nothing more than old cardboard boxes taped together, to him and his pre-K classmates, that was all they needed to feel like he was on a real spaceship.
“It’s amazing just seeing their minds create this,” Ms. Thomas said.
Vincent and his classmates were among the 660 students at Fred Douglass to participate in the first Cardboard Creation Day on Friday.
The event was part of a larger Global Cardboard Challenge started by the Imagination Foundation. Its purpose was to encourage creative thinking.
“There’s not going to be a limit to what they get to do today,” Ms. Thomas said.
The students spent three months planning and collecting cardboard for the project.
Some students worked with themes such as the pre-K students with the rockets and a fourth-grade class with “Star Wars.” A third-grade class built the New York City skyline with boxes.
In other classes, teachers let students come up with their designs either individually or in groups.
School counselor Erick Alvarez said the teachers and administrators were not hoping the students create anything predetermined.
Rather, the educators wanted the students to develop creative thinking.
“For us, it’s a skill that’s as important as reading as math as science,” he said.
The students also had to use problem-solving skills.
For example, one of the third-grade classes was having trouble cutting the cardboard with the scissors they had.
So, they thought about what they could build with large pieces of cardboard and came up with the New York City skyline.