Clough Elementary School students unplug, participate in Play Day and Cardboard Creation Days

MENDON – Principal Liz Garden is pleased to share that Henry P. Clough Elementary School hosted a successful Play Day for students for the first time this year.

On Thursday, November 10, students were encouraged to bring toys and games from home to play with during an unstructured half-day at school to maximize the joy of learning through game-based play.  As the community still works to recover from the pandemic, these days provide moments that foster creativity, collaboration, and peer relationships that look different when students have more unstructured time for exploration.

All students in Kindergarten through Grade 4 had fun engaging in imaginative play, learning and teaching card games to each other and their teachers, exploring various board games, and building with Legos.

The Clough Elementary Play Day was based on the Global Play Day, which takes place annually each February. Schools from across the globe sign up to take part and have their students engage in traditional, unstructured play to help them better socialize and have fun without electronic devices.  This year the Global Play Day will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2022 and Principal Garden intends to connect her students with this global movement.

In addition to this event, the school also held a successful and interactive Cardboard Creation day on Wednesday, Nov. 9, where students were provided time as a collective grade to use cardboard boxes, duct tape, and markers to create, innovate, and collaborate on their cardboard creations.

Each grade was given a designated time to go to the gym. Students could build an item, take apart an item and rebuild it, or use materials to alter it. Numerous parent, staff, and district administrator volunteers assisted in this community endeavor.

The students created a variety of masterpieces including a cardboard library complete with a face scanner to take your picture for your library card, while others designed a pizzeria, a cardboard laptop, a fitness gym, and a castle.

Leading up to these days of creation, Principal Garden led school read-alouds with books such as "What To Do With a Box?," by Jane Yolen and "Boxitects," by Kim Smith. Many classes also found inspiration from Caine's Arcade, the story of a young boy who created an arcade entirely out of cardboard boxes in his father's auto shop. 

Superintendent, Dr. Maureen Cohen, engaged her district team to support the students in the Cardboard Creation Day.  “In the Mendon-Upton Regional School District, fostering joyful collaborative and innovative moments is part of our DNA.  I have never seen so many engaged and excited students eager to embrace a design challenge with minimal teacher support. In a matter of 15 minutes, I saw four boys create a well-thought-out fitness center, while another group created an actual library of cardboard with library cards and scanners in place.  It was incredible.”

To learn more about Global Play Day, click here


Captions for all: Students at the Henry P. Clough Elementary School took part in a successful Play Day on Nov. 10. (Photos Courtesy Mendon-Upton Regional School District)