Skip to main content

Make a family cube

What you need

  • A cardboard box
  • Some printed photos of family members/close friends


Recognising key family members and naming them is an important experience for babies, and they love to see their special people! For older children, seeing photos of friends and family sparks discussion and conversation, developing language around family members and important people from their life.

The experience

You will need an empty box that can be taped at the edges to make a solid cube/cuboid. You may like to cover it with coloured paper/wrapping paper to make it more appealing, or decorate with your child’s drawings.

Gather some printed photos of your family and close friends. Children over one-year-old may enjoy sitting with you and looking through photos on a phone/tablet and picking the ones they like best. Try to get a variety of people such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends and other special people in your child’s life. This can be particularly helpful where there are family or friends you cannot easily see, but you would like to keep your child thinking and talking about them. 

Stick your chosen photos to the sides of the box. Name them with your child. You can ask them questions and offer comments about each family member (beneficial even for non-verbal babies who will be listening to the language you are using) e.g. ‘Who is this? ……You’re right, it’s granny….Granny is at home with Grandpa. I wonder what they are doing today?’ 

Talk about where family members live, their names, who they live with, what they might like to do, and draw upon experiences your child has had with them. 

The family cube can be explored over and over again. Your child will enjoy exploring it, touching the pictures and pointing out the people and naming them. You could play a naming game where you roll the box and whichever face it lands on your child tells you their name. For preverbal children, you could play a game of ‘Where’s…..?’ and ask them to point out family members after you have named them.