Have you tried awareness-raising? It's possible students just don't realise how common they are. You should find a good number of them in newspaper articles. You could also try asking them to describe different things with nouns... What kind of boxes can you think of? Shoe box, tool box, toy box, jewellery box, lunch box, etc. What are the different tools in the kitchen? Cheese grater, apple corer, food processor, dishwasher, can opener, etc.