Project Approach

Project 2: Exploring Boxes

The second project that our 4- and 5-day friends are exploring this year at Family Preschool is "Boxes." I love how project-based learning can take such a simple idea like boxes and inspire so much creativity in the teachers, kids and parents! We've seen the kids make such fun discoveries in the classroom through their different activities, and they have embraced the box play enthusiastically.

So far, our children have:

  • Shared their own special boxes from home. We've seen treasure boxes, jewelry boxes, and music boxes to name a few so far.
  • Played with cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes and made them into new things. This week, the children turned recycled boxes into a giant birthday cake to celebrate the 47th birthday of Family Preschool.
  • Discovered food that can be made from a box, like brownies and pudding. (And what a delicious exercise that was!)
  • Painted mailboxes and sent letters to themselves in the mail.
  • Packed eggs in boxes to see whether they would survive a fall.
  • Gone on a field trip to the FedEx store to learn about packing fragile things in boxes.
  • Gone on a field trip to I Must Garden to learn about the shipping process and to participate in a scavenger hunt for the right shipping box.

We have also enjoyed a great number of parent "guest experts" in the classroom. Our experts have visited the class to do special presentations on:

  • Sewing boxes
  • Electrical boxes
  • Tool boxes
  • Produce boxes
  • Box collections
  • Guitars made form boxes
  • Putting together pieces to make wooden boxes
  • Dog crates

At Family Preschool, we believe that children learn best through experiences that are meaningful to them. As we explore our projects, the teachers work on integrating math and literacy activities in to kids' investigations as a great way to enhance and develop emergent skills in these developmental domains in a natural way.

I can't wait to see what the box project has to offer next, and I can't wait to see what our next and final project of the year will be!

Happy learning,


FPS Board President

Not boxed in!

As part of the project approach at Family Preschool, the children get to explore how concepts relate to their everyday lives. We talk together about what the children already know about a topic, and we explore new information from the connections they've already identified.

Right now, our 4- and 5-day friends are engaged in their box project. They've done everything from build wooden boxes in the classroom to create an entire box city out of recycled cardboard boxes. Yesterday, they got the chance to get out of the classroom and learn about boxes out in the world. They visited I Must Garden, a Chapel Hill business that makes all-natural and earth-friendly pest repellents.


The owner, Marilyn Cox, introduced herself to the children and told them about her company and the products it makes. The children were then taken on a tour of the facility, and they got to learn how the pest repellents are made and watch them get bottled up and put into boxes for shipping. They learned about the different sizes and types of boxes used in shipping and why they are important.

Afterward, the children participated in a scavenger hunt. They were split into five teams, and each were given five different bottles and asked to find a box for each bottle that would be the right size to send it safely.

The children had a wonderful time learning about the company and learning about some of the many ways that boxes are used. They also loved getting a chance to see the father of one of our 5-day friends at work. It was actually the friend's mother who put us up to the idea to organize this field trip. It's one of many examples of how our families come together to make our school a better place and to improve the education that our children get.

It was another great day learning and growing together at FPS!