I expect the average six-year-old to be a veritable geyser of imagination. Around Sasha's house I see evidence of her imaginative play: toys arranged around a castle, sticky notes with scribbled "writing" posted here and there, dress-up clothes scattered across the bedroom floor. But rarely do I actually see Sasha playing, and anytime I suggest or try to instigate imaginative play, Sasha gives me her sassy teenager hands-on-hips-and-eyeroll smackdown. She prefers that I read to her or let her watch Spongebob.
This week Sasha's dad brought home a large box, discarded by the coworker who ordered the desk chair it had contained.
I have never seen so much creative play out of this kid as I have in the presence of this box.
We sat in our box "house" during a pretend storm; thunder and lightning exploded all around us; the floodwaters rose and swept us out to sea; we battled a giant squid and a sea serpent; we eventually crashed on an island where the green-bearded pirate had buried his treasure, which of course we found.
Another day, we got out paints and added details to the box: hearts and butterflies and flowers, stars on the ceiling, swatches of color on the inside walls.
Ezra gets good use out of it too: he and I play endless games of hide-and-peek-a-boo in and around the box. (He joined us for the pirate adventure too.)
This box is like magic, extracting from Sasha the desire to play, to innovate, to invent, and to create. Praise be for big boxes.