Little girl in orange dress playing with blocks

Constructing a Castle

Help your child use Imaginative thinking with this activity to help flexible thinking and problem solving.

June 16, 2020
  • Family Engagement
  • Health and Development
  • Blog
  • Resource

Recommended for Preschoolers

Materials Needed:

  • Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
  • Cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes, other recycled materials
  • Bedsheets or blankets

Developmental Goals:

  • Using language to share ideas.
  • Using imagination in play.

In the Future:

  • Being able to express ideas through language gives young children the opportunity to strengthen their vocabulary and develop their conversational skills.
  • Imaginative thinking provides children with opportunities to develop flexible thinking, strengthening their ability to problem solve, which is important when attempting later math and reading problems.


  1. Introduce the book to your child.  As with any new book, take time to allow your child to explore the book’s pictures on his own before sitting down to read it out loud.
  2. As you read the book together, invite him to talk about the different things that the rabbit makes with his cardboard box.
  3. After reading the story, show your child the recycled materials you have collected.  Working together, decide what you will build.
  4. Allow your child to take the lead, but don’t be afraid to join in and share ideas!
  5. After the play space is built, ask him to describe what he built.

For older preschoolers: have them use writing tools to record a blue print of what they want to build prior to building. This provides them with the opportunity to analyze, plan and follow through on their ideas.

More Like This

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive news, helpful tools and learn about how you can help our youngest learners.

Sign Up

Little girl with blue headband
corner square pie shape-grid