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Refrigerator Box Ideas

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Here are two great ideas for grades K-3.  
Submitted by Peter Schmidt, Saratoga Springs, New York.


Background: Here are two fun ideas using refrigerator boxes. The first one is called “Ghost Town” and is a great Halloween activity that involves dance, monster movements and creativity! This is a student favorite!


  • Wig and robe
  • Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music
  • Mats
  • Refrigerator, washer/dryer, or oven boxes from appliance stores. (Be sure to call early due to the demand for boxes and the fact many stores do not hold them and throw them out at the end of the day. )

Set Up: The students are told they are ghosts that come out at night and dance in the streets of a town. The town has single-family houses (smaller boxes), duplexes (big boxes) and apartments (mats set on end, making large open circles) that hold many people. During the day the ghosts go into the houses and haunt them. The ghosts are safe at night dancing in the street (the gym is darkened somewhat) with “Thriller” music playing; but during the day, the lights are bright and the music is off. A “Ghostbuster” (tagger) is on the job catching ghosts.

How to Play: Students find a house and get in it and wait for dark and the music to start. The students come out of the houses (very stiff, like the monsters on the “Thriller” video) and dance between the boxes (they must be stiff legged, no running is allowed). Encourage rhythmic dance motions. When the music stops and lights come on they must go into a house.

If the Ghostbuster (wearing a wig and a robe) tags them before they go into a house, they are out. Students may move house to house, but take the risk of the Ghostbuster being just outside hiding, waiting to get them! Repeat the game. Students who are caught are allowed to help with the music and lights and dance on the sideline until they are rotated back into the game.

Teacher Tips: 1.) No running is permitted. 2.) Don’t make the gym too dark. 3.) Check the boxes for any sharp objects or debris. 4.) Some younger children may want to watch and be helpers at first. 5.) The activity may need to be modified based on your community’s feelings toward Halloween-oriented activities.

Musical Mirrors: The next activity uses the boxes in a movement mirroring activity. Here’s how we do it. Cut the side out of the box in the shape of a large rectangle (full-body mirror). Students are taught how to copy movement and how to mirror movements. Boxes are placed in a circle around the gym. Play lively background music. Students are picked to go inside each box.

The rest of the class moves around the gym clockwise as the music plays. When the music stops, the students move in front of the closest box and mirror the person in the box. Activities might include: brushing your teeth, combing your hair, striking a certain pose, etc. After a few minutes, other students are selected to go in the boxes as the activity continues.

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