Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Autism Answer: Fort Building with Big Box Play

My oldest son, Jory, is famous among family and friends for being the most elaborate builder of forts. (He called them a "base") No furniture, blanket, or heavy item for holding things in place was overlooked when he was in base-building mode. He would take over the entire house building a base that had two floors, a tv room, a game room, you name it! 

And now that he's a dad (two daughters and a son due in weeks!) his base building has grown into something equally as beautiful - connection building. 

He connects with his kids and remains playful. Also, he uses all the furniture and we have nowhere to sit and sip coffee.

So it almost felt like coffee time in our family home was being offered a rescue when I was given an opportunity  to try out a BigBoxPlay system! It's a cool fun way to build a base without using all the furniture and blankets! ;D

From Disabled World: "Disabled World was offered a BigBoxPlay for free from www.BigBoxPlay.com in consideration for an honest product review article. Like all review products Disabled World receives, the item was donated to a third party."

Insider Info: I was that third party!

Simply Put: A Big Box Play modular system is a cardboard box style of fort building with previously prepared easy to build pieces and parts. It's meant for kids between the ages of 2 and 8 (my granddaughters are 2 and 3 so we were perfectly matched!) to have a little fun with building, playing, imagining, and creating. 

I put it together - with a little help from the girls - according to the directions. And then my son, their dad, come along and got creative reusing and re-imagining a few parts and pieces to make something a little different. It was perfection! And precisely what the BigBoxPlay company encourages. 

We have had the castle fort built for over a week now and it is still standing strong (despite having gotten a little wet from our sprinklers, we keep it outside) The girls like it, and so does the dog.

I offered to review the system and figured it would be nice to share my thoughts with you, too! 

"BigBoxPlay is an indoor playhouse that you build with your children. My granddaughters (aged 2 and 3) and I chose to build it outside because, well, it is quite big! Hence, "Big" box play. ;D

My granddaughters are a bit young (and impatient) to help out much in the building process, but they did help. And we had fun. Mostly, though it was her dad and uncle and me that built it. It is fairly simple and modular. So when my sons decided to get a little creative with what went where, they were easily able to. Which resulted in a cardboard box style castle for my grandaughters that is custom made for them! The system is durable, fun, and can be decorated with crayons, stickers, paint, etc. (I drew a heart on it and my granddaughter got mad at me because it is her castle. giggle!) 

It takes up a lot of space, so we keep ours outside. We were concerned that it wouldn't last since it is made out of cardboard, but the cardboard is surprisingly durable and it still stands strong! After a week of rough play and even getting a little wet from our sprinklers. 

If you are looking for an indoor playhouse that can be built as a family, reimagined and reshaped, drawn or written on, and is likely to bring out the playful side of you, then I recommend BigBoxPlay!"

I'd like to add, as I think the Big Box Play website itself mentions, the tunnels and spaces inside the system are particularly attractive to kids who seek small spaces. This is common in children with sensory challenges and may offer a safe space to spend time in. Of course, it may not. I just felt it would be pertinent to mention.

So now we have a fort outside and our furniture is safe from Jory's base building. Coffee time in our family home is now complete with comfortable sitting space! 

I hope you are able to do something similar with your kiddos this summer. Something hands-on and together, fun and creative, and something that protects your coffee time! ;D 

I know we are all still in a strange place in the world. Things are uncommon and bringing up important but sensitive discussions and new ideas. In the meantime, we can get down with our kids and connect. No matter what happens, being connected with our children (I love doing it through play) will help us make the most of it. Build a fort, get inside, and play. 

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)  

Link for  BigBoxPlay
Link to all articles, news, and reviews on Disabled World