The Global Cardboard Challenge and learning in The Early Years at MIS

The Early Years learners were a part of the global event that celebrates, honours and promotes creative play. On the 5th of October, they joined thousands of children around world to explore their creativity and imaginations by participating in the Global Cardboard Challenge.

What is Global Cardboard Challenge?

The Global Cardboard Challenge is an annual event presented by to celebrate creativity and the role communities can play in fostering it. Inspired by the short film, ‘Caine’s Arcade‘, the Cardboard Challenge is a worldwide celebration that inspires innovation, creativity, and collaboration.

It was an opportunity for our early years learners to showcase and develop their skills and attributes as creative communicators, inquirers, and thinkers. This event has many strong connections to our play-based approach to learning to amplifies the IB Learner Profile attributes and Approaches to Learning – ATL

Why do we choose to promote and participate in this event?

Engaging our early years learners in maker-space engagements is a fantastic way to foster their creativity, problem-solving skills, and enthusiasm for experiential learning while simultaneously building a variety of skills and concepts as mentioned below:

  • Following Interests: As learners followed their passion and participated in the cardboard challenge they simultaneously built on their natural curiosity and sense of exploration. Engagements like this can help learners nurture a love for lifelong learning.
  • Problem Solving: During the process of constructing our models, our EY leaners encountered various challenges. They did their best to either adapt or find solutions to these problems, promoting problem-solving skills and resilience.
  • Engineering and Math: Through the cardboard challenge we engage our EY learners in using complex science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts. We explored concepts like stability, balance, and built on the foundation of engineering while building and constructing our models.
  • Creativity and Imagination: One of our goals for the day was to encourage learners to employ their creativity and imagination and explore the world of possibilities. We saw wonder and pure joy when they realized they can transform their ideas into something remarkable.
  • Persistence and patience: Building models can be a time-consuming process. Our EY learners put their values of persistence and patience to work, as they encountered setbacks and challenges, not giving up is an important life skill.

In EY1 we read the stories ‘In a Box’ and ‘Not a Box’ by Antoinette Portis before introducing our learners to the cardboard boxes. They were invited to explore and ‘play’ with the boxes prior to the challenge. As they turned the boxes into beds, hideouts, houses, they were encouraged to think of creative ways to use them. Christa, Miriam’s Mother came on the day to help support our learners in turning the boxes into the objects they wanted it to be. As the learners used their imagination to create ‘houses’ (mostly) and “doors and windows”, the adults supported them in cutting the boxes.  The following day the learners were eager to return to the boxes and some learners decided to show Ms Helen the creations when she visited us.

Demonstrating their collaborative skills, the EY2 class eagerly engaged in the Cardboard Challenge. To begin, we embarked on a whole-class project of creating a robot. Afterwards, we divided the children into two groups. Each group explored and discussed the materials they had, working together to build a dragon bus and a residential housing complex. Witnessing the students utilize the attributes of the IB learner profile attributes like thinkers, communicators, inquirers and risk takers was both enlightening and captivating.

Our creative and imaginative EY3 learners participated in the cardboard challenge with great enthusiasm. To prepare for the challenge, they read ‘Not a Box’ by Antoinette Portis and explored various examples of junk modelling. They skillfully applied their thinking skills and creative expressions to design and draft blueprints for their models.

With their developing self-management skills, they analyzed and evaluated their plans to construct their cardboard models, incorporating a wide range of materials and resources into the process. These engagements are crafted with intentionality to nurture and enhance both fine and gross motor skills in our early learners.

Our goal is to inspire our young learners to innovate and empower them to make well- informed choices, independently. At MIS, we are wholeheartedly committed to creating an environment that encourages a lifelong love for learning and employing a set of skills that can be applied in various aspects of life.

The Early Years Team.