10 playful ways to transform a pizza box

Pizza boxes are a fantastic tool for play!  They are small and can be stacked easily for storage purposes.  They are portable and are perfect for on the go.  Simply open the box to store all of your extra parts or pieces.  Pizza boxes are also super versatile and rather inexpensive.  Today I am sharing with you 10 playful ways to transform a pizza box..

10 playful ways to transform a pizza box by Teach Preschool

To turn a pizza box into a terrific fine motor activity, all you really need is an exacto knife and a little creativity.  These preschool pizza box games are easy to create and can be used in a variety of ways around the classroom…

Pizza Box game with lids

Weaving box

Foam block pizza box game

Another super way to promote fine motor skills is by offering tools.  Our DIY fix-it box is an inexpensive way to create a tool bench and to use all those play tools that we always seem to accumulate…

DIY Fix it Box by Teach Preschool

Puzzle making is also a great fine motor and critical thinking activity.  Our DIY pizza box textured puzzles are a fun twist on a traditional puzzle…

Pizza Puzzles

As suggested over on Libraryland, pizza boxes also make great felt or flannel boards!  Apply your felt to the outside of the pizza box and store all of your characters and accessories inside.  What a great way to organize classroom felt theme sets!  A pizza box felt board set would also be a great travel toy for children…

10 playful ways to transform a pizza box by Teach Preschool

This pizza box tic tac toe set from 365(ish) Days of Pinterest would also be a great travel toy…

10 playful ways to transform a pizza box by Teach Preschool

Pizza boxes can also be transformed into art tools.  Munchkins and Moms turned a simple pizza box into an awesome pizza box easel

10 playful ways to transform a pizza box by Teach Preschooll

When your child is finished creating artwork on his easel, he can lay it to dry in a pizza box drying rack

Pizza Box Drying Rack from Teach Preschool

Pizza boxes can also be used for dramatic play.  This DIY pizza box kitchen is just as much fun as any play kitchen you could buy in the store and it can be put together for a fraction of the cost!

Pizza Box Kitchen by Teach Preschool

This transportation roadway set from Not Just Preschool is also pretty darn inspiring!   I can think of several little boys and girls that would love a roadway set like this one.  And it would make a great gift…

10 playful ways to transform a pizza box by Teach Preschool

Of course,  you can always use a pizza box for its intended purpose, pizza!  This dramatic play pizza shop from Pre-K Pages is just adorable!  It would provide hours of endless play at home or in a classroom…

10 playful ways to transform a pizza box by Teach Preschool

A few things you might want to take into consideration when transforming a pizza box into a tool for play:

  • You can certainly upcycle a used pizza box, but you will want to be sure that it is clean.  A greasy pizza box could ruin a play set.
  • You can order pizza boxes off Amazon rather inexpensively in bulk.  If you don’t need 50 pizza boxes, then split the cost and share with your fellow teachers.
  • Your local pizza restaurant may be willing to donate a few boxes.  It never hurts to ask!
  • Pizza boxes come in various sizes from the rather small personal pizza sized box, all the way up to the extra large sized pizza boxes.  Choose the size that works best for you.

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By | May 24th, 2014|Categories: DIY, Flannel Board|Tags: , |9 Comments

Winter time tour around the preschool classroom

Winter time is such a busy season with so many wonderful things to do and so today, I am sharing an overview of some of the things we have been exploring in our classroom…

We had a visit from Chris at Silly Safari who brought some beautiful animals to share with the children….

Classroom Animal Visitors by Teach Preschool

Shhhh, be sure to be quiet when walking by our hibernating bears. They are sleeping until spring!…

Hibernating Bears by Teach Preschool

Playing a little “I Spy” with our math tokens we have saved this year…

Math Trays by Teach Preschool

Cooking up some dinner…

Cooking up some dinner by Teach Preschool

Reading with a friend is so much fun…

Reading together by Teach Preschool

Brrrr! These icicles are cold on our hands…

Exploring Icicles by Teach Preschool

How about a little light table geometry…

Exploring the light table by Teach Preschool

Who has built the tallest or shortest snowman tower?

Snowman Towers by Teach Preschool

What happens when water freezes? ….

Classroom magazine by Teach Preschool

What happens when our snowman melts?…

Snowman Bottles by Teach Preschool

Melting Snowman by Teach Preschool

A rainbow of colors in our snow…

Snow science by Teach Preschool

A snowman snack…

Snowman Snack in a Bag by Teach Preschool

Documenting our snowman explorations in our journals…

Snowman Journals by Teach Preschool

I hope you enjoyed this brief look all around our classroom today!  I will be back very soon with more!

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Simple ideas for classroom set-up

I am still in the process of getting my classroom set up for the new school year and will be sharing some of my classroom set up and arrangements with you as soon as I can get my act together. In the meantime, I thought I would share some ideas that worked very well for me last year….

Pizza Box Drying Rack

I spent a good part of last school year trying to find placed to leave all of our artwork out to dry until finally I sat down and made my own drying rack! The pizza box drying rack is simply a set of pizza boxes taped together with packing tape.  It is light weight so I can move it anywhere I need it to be and each box is wide enough to store most of our papers.  A real life saver!

File Folder Puzzle Rack

The file folder puzzle rack is simply a metal desk-top file folder organizer that I converted into a puzzle rack. The file folder organizer is pretty heavy so I usually kept it on a wide shelf or on the floor. The children did a terrific job keeping all the puzzle put away in our puzzle rack…

Gutter Book Shelves

 I started out the school year with a regular child-sized bookshelf on my floor but because my classroom has such limited amount of floor space, I decided to add these pieces of gutter to my wall as a book display shelf instead. I went to Home Depot to get the light-weight plastic gutter and had the guy at Home Depot cut it the length I wanted.  The children used the gutter as car ramps for a few weeks but over a long weekend, I put the gutter on the wall to hold all of our books. You can see more about the Gutter Bookshelves here!

Metal Grease Pan Magnetic Board

The white magnetic board you see in the photo below actually started off being a silver metal grease pan which you can purchase at Walmart.  I purchased mine from a local auto supply store and then painted it white on one side and red on the other side. I moved the magnetic board around my classroom depending on the activity we were doing.  When I didn’t have the magnetic board leaning against a wall or set flat on a table, I attached it with Industrial Strength Velcro to the back of a bookshelf which you can see below in the center photo…

A fun year of making new things for my classroom! I look forward to coming up with some new ideas for classroom set-up this school year too!

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By | August 4th, 2012|Categories: Classroom Setup|Tags: , , , , |10 Comments

DIY: Pizza box textured puzzles

Every so often, I spend a weekend making new games and activities for my class to explore. The problem is, once I start making some of these games, I end up with partially completed “works-in-progress” all over my house. I start on the dining room table, then when I run out of space there, I head to the kitchen table or the floor or where ever there is another space…

This game making session included painting some pizza boxes that were donated to me by our local Noblesville Pizza King. I used acrylic paint to paint the boxes bright colors and used some of the boxes to make pizza box puzzles…

After painting the boxes, I hot glued blank craft puzzle frames to the boxes. These boxes were the perfect size for the craft puzzle frames that I hot glued both on top and inside the boxes…

I used the inside of the pizza boxes to store the textured puzzle pieces I made. To make the textured puzzles, I hot glued scraps of different materials or objects to the puzzle pieces….

Craft puzzles are available at most craft stores but the type of puzzle will vary in size and number of pieces. I purchased my craft puzzles from our local United Arts and Education but you can also find craft puzzles at Amazon: Inovart Puzzle-It Blank Puzzles 12 Piece 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ – 24 Pieces Per Package

I wanted the puzzles to have different textures for the children to feel and explore as they put the puzzles together. I used sand paper, fabric, cotton balls, pompoms, bubble wrap, lids, Styrofoam, felt, sponges, and straws for this set of puzzle pieces…

This is the kind of game that I will add to our puzzle center for the children to explore in different ways for awhile. I introduced the puzzles to the children today by just setting them out on the table to check out on their own…

I started out with eight puzzle pieces in each box but this confused the children so we narrowed down to four pieces in each box  – I will add the other pieces later when the children are ready for a more complex process…

We will also use the puzzle pieces at other times, like circle time, to discuss texture and for counting games…

The more open ended the homemade game is, the more uses you can find for it in the classroom…

By the way, these puzzle pieces are all the same shape so they fit together in any box.

By | February 19th, 2012|Categories: Activity Boxes, DIY|Tags: , , , , |24 Comments

Preschool pizza box games

Pizza boxes are such a wonderful resource for the classroom.  I am constantly cutting one up to see what kind of game or activity I can make with it…

I don’t always have a specific plan for each box. I like to make them all different then set out different types of tokens, like the tokens we gather on math day,  or other items like cardboard rectangles. The first box I am sharing with you today is a cardboard slot box…

To go with the slot box, I cut up card board rectangles then painted one side of each rectangle just to add some color. The children put the cardboard pieces in the little slots on the box…

For this next box, I cut little doors and hot glued lids on the front for “door knobs”.  I set out lids that match the lids on the box for the children to sort. This is one of their favorite boxes…

Some children just put the lids in any door they like – others take the time to find the matching door…

I also made a game box using Velcro and foam blocks. These are the same blocks I used to make ink stamps with earlier this year.  For this game, the children can make patterns with the blocks or simply arrange the blocks on the pizza box and then drop some of the blocks inside the holes.  This is also a favorite game the children enjoy…

Next time, I will just use velcro and possibly include one hole. What the children liked most was putting the blocks on the velcro.  Oh, and I hot glued the Velcro on both the box and the foam blocks so the the Velcro would stick on better and last longer…

And this last game box I am going to share with you today is a weaving game box.  I cut slits in the box and set out ribbon for the children to weave through the slits…

I will definitely be making more weaving boxes.  I got in a little hurry with this one so my lines are all crooked and I made the spaces to wide too.  I would also like to make a square slotted weaving box…

My students liked tying the ribbons into knots around the weaving box too. Perhaps this should be called the weaving and knot tying box…

Before cutting into any of the boxes, I covered them with colorful contact paper I bought from Staples Office Supply.  I store the supplies for each box in a baggy and tuck the baggies inside the boxes when they are not in use. They all stack up nicely when I need to put them away.  These boxes will be brought out periodically for the children to explore.  We will use them to build fine motor skills and math skills such as patterning, sorting, and matching. I will share more boxes at a later time but this should give you the idea and perhaps will inspire you to come up with some of your own!

Any thoughts on this you care to share?  Leave me a comment below!

Linking this post to…

The Home Teacher: Not a Box Linky!

 

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