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Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Wonder Box

The I Wonder Workbox

Here is an idea to use the workbox system to foster some wonder and creativity in your children (you might just want to make one for yourself as well). So much of leadership has to do with creative thinking and using the workbox system can be a great means through which creativity and leadership development can take place. The training that happens in the home will eventually spill out into the adult world and finding ways to develop creative thinking is important for adult success.

I have developed a site to help spark some of this creativity (it serves as a kind of virtual workbox) and I invite you to come and participate in what I am calling the I Wonder Chronicles. My intention is to help children enjoy and begin to love learning, reading, and writing.

Here's my suggestion on how to begin the I Wonder Workbox:
First, find a box...make it wonderful - let your child decide what that will entail. Invite creativity by supplying an assortment of mediums for them to use to decorate their box (give helpful boundaries as that sometimes fosters more creative thinking). Let them name their box or turn it into a creature of some sort - whatever, just make it really fun. (Also, let me know what they create so I can congratulate them).
Start filling the box with wonderful things - i.e. items they discover, magazine clippings, favorite stones, shark's teeth, bits of yarn, figurines, whatever...
Each week (or however often you choose) open the box and create an "I Wonder..." prompt for your child to interact with...have them respond to the prompt with a story, poem, drawing, painting, etc. (see my site for how I have done it with my kids)
Possibly use one of the prompts I have already created and posted on my site (make sure you send me their work so I can showcase it in the slideshows on the site!)
Have your children start their own I Wonder Chronicles and delight in the opportunity to create new worlds and stories.
Come and visit the I Wonder Chronicles site here:

Check out the contact tab for my email or sign up for the monthly email updates and be notified when new stuff arrives. Here's to the wondering...

Dan Haase
Gatherer of Wonder

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Workbox "DUH!" Moment

I'm not sure why I didn't figure this out a long time ago...

IF you choose to use workboxes that are the SAME boxes (or at least the same size) as your standard toy storage, you can swap toys in and out as preschool workboxes.

For example, I just sorted our Fisher Price little people into small, plastic bins with lids:

Now I can rotate them into our workbox rack for preschool activities (see top two boxes on left):

You could do this with a wide variety of toy "collections" including:
  • Legos
  • Playmobile
  • blocks with plastic animals (to make a zoo)
  • Fisher Price Little People sets (we have the "old" kind...which means I'm old???)
  • dinosaurs (thought we'd get out the dinosaur books and tapes that week)
  • trains
  • cars w/ a plastic mat showing roads
  • Lincoln Logs

But I bet you figure that out a long time ago, didn't you???

Next time, tell ME! :)  I'd love to have you visit me at love2learn2day!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blic Bloks Work Box

Submission from Renita

Blik Bloks

So I am a real curriculum junkie. I am subscribed to many sites and am always looking for a good deal.

I received a catalog from a new place I had never ordered from before. It was from Mindware. They had some really great deals (check out their clearance section!!), and I am going through this catalog making a wish list when I saw this wonderful visual perception activity called Blik Blok. It was pricey, but so far we have found it worth the tag.

It comes with 100 cards that range from beginner to advanced/expert levels of building. When I put this activity card in one of their boxes, the other kids complained because they wanted a turn too. Our almost 3 year old even gets into this creating her own works of art.

Here’s a card creation:

Here is a one-of-a-kind Kid creation:

I wish I would’ve been able to buy more than one set. They fight and fight over this game. I plan on purchasing another one eventually. I love the fact that they can work on the cards and increase their visual perception skills and then switch over the creative play all within the same allotted time period. To me it’s like a 2-for-1 special!!

I do recommend this for everyone. It’s a great educational and fun activity.

(I am not receiving any compensation for this post. I purchased this item. I just want to share with everyone how wonderful it is, especially to those who may have children with special needs or learning delays.)

Thank you Renita for this great idea.
Here is where you can find more of renita's ideas for work boxes.

If any of you would like to send in a submission please send it to child.workbox@gmail.com send as regular email(for ease of copy/paste), not in doc, docx, or pdf format, as for any pictures send as attachments. If you would like to become an author please tell us about yourself, thank you.

Work Boxes For 8th-12th Grades

Here is a great presentation about what you can do for your older learners.

Sue shows and talks about all kinds of great ideas and how to's. She touches on ideas for:

Interactive Documents using ppt, word, and open office.

Group/Unit Studies

Posters, and how to make them interactive and more interesting for your learners.

Interactive Websites

Personalized File Folder Activities.

Here is the link for more ideas from Sue: