Paper and Card Day
Hello, I am Becky. (Rebecca Fisk - an education consultant with expertise in early years and special educational needs.) I have over thirty years of experience teaching young children and training adults. I like to use exploratory play activities so children can play and create in their own way. Today I suggest some ideas to help you get started with exploring paper at home.
Woven Word Sculpture of Happiness
This is a great activity to explore positive words with your child, so I have focused on using words that make me happy, to encourage you to do the same. It is a great conversation starter to help children talk about emotions and how they feel. It is an activity which can be repeated to ‘collect’ words, for example, seasonal words or words about your child’s favourite activity. It offers the chance to model words clearly and for children to write with a fun purpose. Let them ‘write’ or mark make in their own way or go over your writing (light pen or pencil) with a darker pen.
All you need is some strips of paper, scissors, glue/Sellotape and a piece of cardboard. The inside of a cereal box is perfect for the job! Newspapers and magazines area good source for ‘word hunting’ too!
Snipping and Scissor Skills
Children learn to cut using scissors by snipping first as this involves just one downward movement of the thumb towards the fingers, rather can continuously opening and closing of the scissors to cut using consecutive movements. Once they have mastered the snipping action they can go on to more complex cutting.
Top tip - It takes time to learn to use scissors. If your child is left-handed they will need scissors designed for left-handers so that the blades fall correctly on the paper. Your child may require training scissors which have additional spaces for more fingers or which have a ‘tong-like’ movement.
The great thing about snipping is it is a way of reusing items you would otherwise recycle like used paper straws or card from packaging. It helps when learning to snip to have something thicker than ordinary paper initially to gain more purchase.
I demonstrate 3 activities to try – snipping paper straws, snipping around the edge of a paper plate and snipping to a line to make a paper lantern. Why not make a string of decorated paper lanterns for celebrations in the family?
Make a Jigsaw Puzzle
This is such a simple yet under rated activity. Jigsaw puzzles help develop children’s visual perception, spatial awareness and positional language skills. Visual perception is a key skill needed when inferring a story line from pictures in picture books and also when learning to recognise letters, words and numerals, for example.
You can make lovely gifts for others by using a great picture for your puzzle. Perhaps you know someone who loves doing puzzles?
Top tip - print off a photograph of the picture before you cut it up so you know what the ‘whole’ picture should look like.
Collage is a wonderful creative activity for children which they can do quite independently once they have the resources ready. Pre-cut pictures can help with getting the children started until they have developed their own cutting skills. Select pictures with your child that they like from magazines, newspapers, old cards etc. Remember that having the freedom to add paper and pictures in a creative way, rather than a pre-set structure on the page involves the children in their own exploration of how things look together. You might have an initial theme or have an abstract design but either way they make lovely gifts for others and posters for walls.
Collage is an absorbing, therapeutic and creative activity which develops concentration and perseverance.
You might want to go on and try decoupage, which is decorating an object with a cut-out paper image. Maybe on a glass jar to make a pen holder?
Try some origami paper folding too!