You can learn a lot about a human from the stuff they enjoy. This goes for people of all ages, but like a lot of things, it’s most apparent in kids. At some point in their development, most kids really enjoy empty boxes. This time of year, there’s a common refrain from parents: “I paid so much for that thing, and he/she only cares about the thing it came in!”
There are discussions to be had about the cost of toys, the practice of overindulgence, and the rapidly changing interests of youngsters, but there’s something interesting enough about their love for boxes, in and of itself. Instead of bemoaning the fact that they didn’t take a liking to the main attraction, maybe we should be focusing on what a kid is looking for when they crawl into a box, what the real attraction is.
Here is a list of very important things that a kid can find in an empty box:
- A bit of quiet, and a place to think. This is especially true of big boxes.
- A blank canvas, without instructions or directions.
- An opportunity for creativity and imagination.
- A bit of freedom.
- A thing to fill with other things that are really important.
We say, why fight it? Embrace the empty box, and use it as an opportunity to have a really great chat, and do some fun activities. Here are some wonderful big questions that can be sparked by an empty box:
- Is anything ever really empty? Is your mind ever really empty? Is there such a thing as nothing?
- If you were to put 5 very important things in this box, what would they be? Why are these things so important?
- If you were to make this into a time capsule for big questions, and send it into the future, what are some big questions you’d want to send to yourself 10 years from now? What if you could send it into the past?
- Is this box half-full or half-empty (this will require half-filling it with something)? What’s the difference?
Not so empty anymore, right? If you’ve invested some serious cash in the gadget that came in the box, take heart. They’ll come back to it later, but you can have some serious, think-y fun while you’re waiting for that. We wouldn’t blame you if you went so far as to go out and find an empty box or two, and not worry about filling them with gifts at all.