I host a weekly after school club at my kid’s school, which I started in Portland about five years ago at The Portland Village School. It has been a fun little gig that started with my children as participants, and then helpers, and now, well, they’ve graduated (in other words, they don’t want to help their mom anymore)! I’ve got a steady group of about ten children here in Colorado, with a bit of variation each month. We meet in the school art room on Friday afternoons (the only day without conflicting sports, dance or gymnastics)!
We change themes monthly. This year we started with origami, moved on to book making, then pop-ups and now we are making paper. Origami and papermaking have been the most successful (in other words, the behavior in those two sessions has been pretty good because the kids are engaged). I take my hat off to the full-time teachers who can manage and engage a group of kids three times the size of the paper club all day long for five days a week!
I admit that I don’t take pictures often enough, so most of these are from the collage and pop-up sessions last year. These kids are so creative!
Below you can see my traveling papermaking set-up. It is simple due to portability. We use Arnold Grummer‘s tin can papermaking technique, making pulp in a blender and then pouring it through a screen, holding the shape with a tin can or a cookie cutter. Each week during this session we’ll try another technique: week one was blender paper; week two colored cotton shapes; week three decorative papers with inclusions and week four collage.
I find it challenging to reach all of the kids in a group sometimes, or to have the energy or time to meet the needs of the kid who could take things to the next level. But hopefully I address most of those issues, and I’m so thankful to see the response and delight in the children’s faces each day.
Do you teach paper art to children? What have you found to be successful?