A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of leading a papermaking workshop for children (and their parents) at Walking Mountains Science Center here in Avon, Colorado. I tried some new things, taking advantage of the location. We started with a quick demonstration and then headed outside to collect plant parts to include in our papers.
The center has a lovely nature trail, and honestly, I think those kids could have spent the entire time looking at plants and cutting small pieces to put in their papers.
We ended our nature hike by discovering a small snake and then headed back inside to make paper.
I brought some cooked kozo which kids could pound in a corner, but otherwise I’d prepared all of the kozo, cotton and abaca pulps. I showed the kids how to make recycled paper in a blender, so that they could try it at home. Walking Mountains prepared and gave participants small papermaking kits to take home, which included a quart-sized yogurt container, a screen (the mould), the lid of a ball jar (the deckle), a few sheets of landscaping fabric for couching, a sponge and instructions.
The kids made shaped papers using the ball jar lids and cookie cutters and utilizing Arnold Grummer’s tin can papermaking method.
I have not figured out how to send people home with dry paper yet, so they sponge pressed their sheets and stacked them on newspaper.
I’d love to hear about your methods for teaching papermaking to kids. What works? What doesn’t?
And if you are in the area, I’ll be at Walking Mountains again next week for an adult event called The Science Behind Papermaking on Wednesday, September 25th, from 6:30-8:30pm.
A big thanks to Amber Prince for most of these photos!