What can you do with a pile of cardboard, some masking tape, scissors and markers? This was a question posed to the younger members of the IGB International School (IGBIS) community when they took part in the 2017 Global Cardboard Challenge on 7 October.

Now in its 6th year, the Global Cardboard Challenge is run by the Imagination Foundation and inspired by ‘Caine’s Arcade’. In 2011, 9-year-old Caine Monroy spent the summer in his father’s used auto parts store, turning boxes and other everyday items into a games arcade. A documentary filmmaker, Nirvan Mullick, happened upon the arcade and made a short film about Caine and his arcade, which went viral on YouTube and attracted more people to the arcade. The following year, Mullick created the Imagination Foundation, and the Global Cardboard Challenge was borne.

The Global Cardboard Challenge celebrates child creativity and the role communities can play in fostering that creativity. Creative play also develops a child’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, perseverance and teamwork, allowing children to explore their interests and passions and, most importantly, have fun. It ignites a child’s imagination and allows them to turn an idea into a reality. All adults need to do during creative play is offer guidance, context and support. Creative play is vitally important to a child’s growth and learning and is one of the most important ways that children learn at IGBIS.

This year almost a million people participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge, in 80 countries. The event at IGBIS was the only event held in Malaysia. Participants were able to connect with others around the world through live sharing on social media including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Over 100 children, accompanied by their parents, participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge. They created everything from houses and forts, to books, trucks, a mermaid, and an aquarium. There were even a few arcade games, directly inspired by the documentary that started the whole movement. The masterpieces were either taken home for further play, donated to IGBIS, or put into the massive recycling pile.

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