Dawn: Hey, hey, Jonathan, let's go play with a cardboard box! 'Kay? I know there's toys all over the place, but look! It's a box!
Jonathan: A box? .... It's a box. Sounds boring!
Dawn: Awww, don't be such a grown-up. It's not just a box, it's WAY More Than a Box!
Jonathan: Okay.. what do you mean WAY more than a box?
Dawn: It's not about what you CAN see, it's about Infinite Possibilities! There are no instructions, anything goes! A box is EVERYTHING!
Jonathan: Please explain. (I say from my armchair by the fire place while Dawn plays with a box, of all things, on the rug.)
Dawn: Okay, Mister, you asked for it! This simple box is the ultimate creative tool. It's cardboard, which is “malleable” (please note, sometimes you have to use grown-up speak to get the attention of the adults!), and you can cut it, shape it, draw on it, turn it into... a toy store... perhaps?
Jonathan: Hmmm... Sounds interesting... but what about something dangerous? Maybe an alien invasion?
Dawn: Eeek! Aliens! Great idea! Us three-year-olds (ahem) can be diverted and entertained for a while with toys that Do Stuff, but give us a box and... the world is our oyster! (Which just sounds gross, but is really awesome.)
Jonathan: Where do we begin?
Dawn: First we have to scavenge for supplies. I'll get the scissors! (I promise not to run...) Scissors, markers, corrugated cardboard, boxes, paper... toys that have run away from their owners...
Jonathan: Okay, I'll grab all the boxes in the office and... I bet we could use these scrapped toys, too! I'm thinking.... Hmmm... Stop-motion animation? These boxes could be buildings!
Dawn: Woooooow, look at all the possibilities.
Jonathan: Those round cardboard pieces could be a smokestack.
Dawn: I think the Swingy-Thing box would make a good church... look, it's got windows and a door already! Whatcha building there, Mister?
Jonathan: I'm making skyscrapers!
Dawn: I'm stealing your smokestack for my Fat Brain Factory.
Jonathan: Oh! I've GOT TO build a space ship!
Dawn: I'm going to make a cemetery for my church... and a scary old tree in the cemetery... Oooh, what are you making that space ship out of?
Jonathan: Well, the base of it is made from a bunch of transparent Dado Squares... And then some cardboard here, cardboard there, and voila! A space ship!
Dawn: While Jonathan built the diorama stage, a HUGE city, and an alien space craft, I built a zoo (perfect use of lost AnimaLogic animals!), a warehouse district, and the church. I tend to think on a smaller (but maybe a little more intricate) scale.
Jonathan: I guess you can tell from my skyscrapers. I'm always thinkin' BIG. … But what should we use as outerspace aliens?
Dawn: I want the Reptangles to be the good guys, because they're cute.
Jonathan: Oh! I know! What about these block things? They look nothing like humans! What do you think?
Dawn: Oh, the Tridios... yes, they're very robotic looking!
Jonathan: Perfect! Okay... But now we're going to need some people.
Dawn: I can't really draw, but I cut out a mean gingerbread man!
Jonathan: Good thinking!
Dawn: And a gingerbread lady... And a cat...
Jonathan: I made an old man, some "business" people, and, well.. It's almost Halloween so of course I had to make a Grim Reaper! (Perfect for Dawn's cemetery, by the way.)
Dawn: Jonathan started out really artsy, but we started to feed off each other in this perfect example of Parallel Play that was quickly turning into Cooperative Play, and suddenly we were trying to out-silly each other! I made a great big scary tree for the cemetery... with lots of gravestones...
Jonathan: Okay, so now that we have everything built, should we go film? Any ideas for the plot?
Dawn: I think we can save that for Part Two: Way More Than a Box, The Movie! But first, let's whet their appetites with dreams of the weird city we built, and tantalize them to participate: Kids, Romans, Young-At-Heart, YOU, too, can build Way More Than a Box--and share your pictures with us!
Jonathan: I can't wait!
Dawn: You kids are going to have to get up pret-ty early in the morning to out-play me and Jonathan! Hey, Jonathan, do you think kids can out-build us?
Jonathan: Well.... I mean... We are adults, so that means we're smarter...
Dawn: Not a chance, right?
Jonathan: But kids are usually surprisingly creative... I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
Dawn: We're safe with our title of the Ultimate Box Builders. Wait... you think they could actually outplay us? Pshaw! Never!
Jonathan: We'll see!
Dawn: Okay, Kids, prove it. Build something cooler than our Alien Invasion of Fat Brain Toys and send us the photographic evidence!
Jonathan: Show us what you've got!
For even more fun, ideas, and a photo gallery, check out our official Way More Than A Box website!