Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Passion for Paper

Apparently my passion for paper began at a very young age.  I’m told that when I was little, my mom used to keep wrapping paper in the bottom drawer of the dresser in my nursery.  I was nicknamed the “paper monster,” because I would often open the drawer, pull out all of the paper, and have a blast flailing it around, crinkling it, crumpling it, and folding it.
My parents used to read a lot of books to us when we were growing up, and Mom did lots of arts and crafts with us over the years.  I like writing letters and am inspired by blank notebooks, pages of lined paper, beautiful pieces of stationery, or greeting cards.  I enjoy doing scrapbooking, card making, and photo collages, so it comes as no surprise that I’ve absolutely loved teaching Paper Camp to 2-5-year-olds this week.
Through a tour around the classroom we discovered that we use a number of products that are made from paper every day: including, paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, tissues, paper grocery bags, sticky notes…
We made our own paper on Tuesday.  We put scraps of 100% cotton paper, pieces of toilet paper, and water in a bucket to sit overnight, then our awesome camp director/papermaking pro, Miss Darlene, put our mix through the blender, prepared the molds and deckles for our papermaking adventure, and helped each of the kids produce a piece of circular paper with colored scraps and a few spices added.   
We each made a greeting card, created a flower garden with tissue paper, made fans out of wallpaper, made bookmarks, tried a special kind of markers and paper, as well as assembled books about how paper is made and how much paper comes from a tree. 
Our folding fun included origami boxes, frogs, and of course paper airplanes.  We experimented with different airplane designs, types of paper, etc. to see which ones would be the most aerodynamically sound. 
Sifting through a bag of recycling I brought in from home, we saw a number of different household items made of paper, such as, cereal boxes, cardboard toilet paper rolls, receipts, menus from take-out restaurants, used envelopes, old magazines…  Each of us got our own paper bag to collect all of the different scraps we had left over from our projects. 
I have good reason to believe some of the kids have already caught my propensity for paper.  It’s been a fun week!
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