In order to be able to think creatively, children have to be encouraged to use their imaginations and play autonomously. When setting up open-ended learning opportunities that stimulate children to investigate possibilities practitioners need easily accessible, cost effective resources. The rationale behind using cardboard boxes is the simple fact that they are cheap and open-ended, meaning they can be easily sourced and simply transformed by both adults and children.
A cardboard box is a resource that when left alone, does nothing in particular but comes to life in the hands of children, requiring them to use their imagination or to build on their past experiences. Boxes as open-ended materials greatly enhance the play experience, as they require children to bring their thoughts into the play experience in a deeper way.