Not A Box Storytime

Our library recently had their big annual books sale which meant afterward there were tons and tons of boxes that once housed books. I grabbed 40 from the pile and planned a storytime and craft inspired by Antoinette Portis‘ picture book, Not A Box, and a few others books that inspire using one’s imagination by thinking outside the box. For the craft we made playhouses by decorating the outside and inside of the boxes, magically turning them into… well… not a box!

Storytime Line-Up:

Not A Box by Antoinette Portis

A fun and simple book about a bunny and the different ways he imagines his box is not a box.

Sitting in my Box by Dee Lillegard, illustrated by Jon Agee

A boy starts out alone in his box until animal after animal keeps making an appearance wanting to get in the box with him. You can imagine soon enough it gets quite crowded. Oh the things that happen when sitting alone in a box with a book…

Chloe by Peter McCarty

A favorite in our house (seen here). We’ve read it so much we own it. Chloe loves family fun time after dinner, but when a new television disrupts that time she has to create a few distractions of her own to get it back.

Magic Box: A Magical Story by Katie Cleminson

I’ve gushed over Katie Cleminson before here. When planning this storytime I learned about her out-of-print book, Magic Box, and immediately interlibrary-loaned it. It’s awesome! Colorful and fun! The kids loved it.

Not A Box Craft:

Like I said earlier, the library had tons and tons of boxes left over from the library sale, so I thought I would put them to good use for the craft after storytime. I made a playhouse out of my “not a box” example, but encouraged the kids to do whatever they’d like with their boxes. The majority made playhouses, but a few made cars and one made a custom “not a box” chair.

Materials used: Pre-cut squares and rectangles out of colorful cardstock from a few previous crafts (including this one from a few weeks back), pages from home magazines, markers, glue, and scissors. Also, I want to mention that I cut all the tops off the boxes before storytime so the kids wouldn’t have to hassle with them.

All the materials were laid out on a large table. To the side of each table were stacks of boxes. The kids went through the boxes and picked out the one they wanted to use. They sat on the floor and cut and glued and colored, turning their box into anything they wanted.

For this box, I colored different shapes with a marker, and then glued them on with a glue stick.

I also cut out flowers from a magazine and made window planters.

For the inside of the box, I taped cardstock to the bottom. Glue also works.

For decorating the inside, I tore out pictures from bunches and bunches of home magazines and let the kids cut out from then what they liked. Some pasted the whole page on the inside. Others cut out specific objects and pasted them in whichever fashion they preferred.

I did a little of both.

After they finished, they took their “not a boxes” home to play.

We made this craft over a week ago and L still wakes up every morning and plays with it.


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