Chandler Oaks Elementary School first-grade classes spent one week in September stretching creativity while building games out of all recycled materials in preparation for Global Day of Play.
The first-grade team of teachers, consisting of Jenny Brown, Liana Sayegh, Lauren Tijerina and Michelle Wells, were inspired by Caine’s Arcade to challenge their students to do the project. The project was directly connected to the central idea of a first-grade International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme unit of inquiry, which states “curiosity drives investigation into our world.”
“We wanted them to take their curiosity and run with it with all these items that they see on a daily basis,” Tijerina said. “We also want them to make the connection that when you’re curious about something and you build off of that, that’s how big things happen.”
Caine’s Arcade began when a Los Angeles-based nine-year-old created a full cardboard arcade in his dad’s hardware store to stave off his boredom. The arcade went viral and spurred a global movement to challenge kids of all ages to flex their creativity and create their own games. The Global Day of Play has become an annual community event where kids show off their handmade games.
Chandler Oaks hosted its Global Day of Play event Oct. 1 and invited community members to partake in the festivities as first-grade students showed off their creations. Among the games were a cardboard box “money” catching machine outfitted with a leafblower, Plinko games, cardboard table hockey and pinball machines. All materials, even balls, were created from recyclables.
“Some of the kids didn’t know they could be creative because they had never gotten the chance to do something like this before,” Brown said. “With this project, they were able to realize that they are capable of expressing themselves creatively using what they have.”