When I was little I watched sitcoms with a kind of awe during the holiday season. There was never any wrapping paper. They had those big, gloriously colored boxes with huge bows and they’d just pull the top off to reveal the (often comical) gift. Who lives like that?!
But now, even my grocery store has adorable gift boxes in an assortment of designs and sizes and I can play out all those easy unveiling scenes over and over in the therapy room.
I have several sets of the same design/different sizes to target size concepts like big/bigger/biggest, small/smaller/smallest.
I have other sets with different designs/various sizes so we can also target descriptive concepts such as color, size, shape (try adding a wine tube box for “round”), etc.
Boxes can be filled with items to target vocabulary or articulation goals or do what I’ve been doing lately which is to have a variety of items for kiddos to decide who would be the best recipient of the gift. For example, a box with nail polish might be appropriate for mommy. A box with a wallet or watch might be better for Daddy. A collar would be just right for a puppy. It’s a great way to work on inferences in a natural setting. (Oh, and gift bags would work fine too and might be easier for kiddos with fine motor issues.)
Because I have several students with social communication goals, we also shake the box, listen and talk about how we don’t know what’s in the box yet. (Although I do have one that insisted it was a gift he is desperately hoping to get. Alas, it wasn’t.) Sometimes, I have one child take a peek and give a couple of clues to the others. Do you know how exciting it is to take an approved peek when no one else gets to?!
My youngest ones love opening gifts and ask me to refill as long as time will allow. Remember all those years when your kids loved the box as much or more than the gift itself? It still holds true today.