A few weeks ago, every Brownie in our Unit left with a new toy. Some were wearing theirs around their waists, some on their heads. One was pulling hers behind her with a piece of wool like she was walking a dog. Another was sitting in hers, paddling like she was in a canoe. Parents looked confused. Then smiled. Then laughed.
“Why are you sitting in a box?” one mom asked.
“It’s not a box!” her daughter replied.
“Why are you wearing that box?” a dad chuckled.
“It’s not a box!” another Brownie insisted.
The murmur began spreading through the crowd of parents,
“Then what is it, if it is not a box?”
If your Unit is anything like ours, after a night of selling cookies you are left with zip lock bags full of change, crumpled maps and a pile of empty cookie cases. What can you do with all those boxes?
The girls in our Unit will tell you the first thing you need to know: those are NOT boxes (or cases either).
What are they then? They are Not -A-Boxes! And what is a Not-A-Box?
A Not-A-Box is a canoe. It is a brand new puppy. It is a robot, a steam train, a tree, a cave. A Not-A -Box is anything your girls can imagine. Every Not-A-Box starts out as your typical cardboard box, but once your girls and their imaginations get a hold of those boxes, they can turn into anything!
Our Not-A-Box meeting was inspired by that big pile of cookie cases and a children’s book by the same name, “Not A Box” by Antoinette Portis. “Not A Box,” is the story of a young rabbit who uses the power of imagination to turn a cardboard box into the best toy yet. It is a story that celebrates creativity and, well, thinking outside of the box.
Here’s what you need for your own Not-A-Box meeting:
- enough cardboard boxes (I mean Not-A-Boxes) for each girl to have one
- “Not A Box” by Antoinette Portis
- markers,and craft supplies to decorate the Not-A-Boxes
At our meeting, by the time we had finished reading Antoinette Portis’ “Not A Box,” our girls had figured out what the pile of cookie cases was for. They each scrambled to get their own Not-A-Box and were delighted to spend the rest of the meeting creating, playing and most importantly, imagining.
Our girls are full of energy and potential. Watching them turn old cookie cases into mountains, air planes, treasure chests and elephants reminded me of that. Find some cardboard boxes. Talk to your girls about the importance of creativity, of innovation. Then watch their imaginations run wild.
By guest blogger Melissa. Melissa is a Queen’s University student and a Guider with the 5th Ottawa Brownies, 17th Kingston Guides, 17th Kingston Pathfinders. Melissa has also written previous posts for Girl Guides of Canada’s blog: One Plus One Equals Brownie Math, The World Girls Want for the(ir) Future, Young Women’s World Forum 2011: Wrap-up from Switzerland, and was one of our reviewers for two books from our adult book club: Persuasion, and Everything We Ever Wanted.
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This is such a FABULOUS idea! And kudos to you Guiders for encouraging the imaginations of your Brownies!
An excellent and well written blog. I would like to request permission to reprint this in the September issue of Pipeline, the BC Newsletter. I will also promote subscribing to GirlGuidesCANBlog. Yours in Guiding, L. Hodgkin, Pipeline Editor
We’re happy to give you permission to reprint Melissa’s “It’s Not a Box” piece for Pipeline! We only ask that you attribute it to our blog and to the author/blogger. It would be a great added bonus for you to encourage others to subscribe to our blog!
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What a fantastic idea 🙂 Thank you for sharing! Another option is to do a live action Angry Birds session. There’s always a good time when empty “boxes” are involved 🙂
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