letting go of product…

Paper making – heres how it would go in a product atmosphere.

  1. Make the pulp, showing kids how to rip the paper into small pieces, having first removed anything unsuitable – sellotape, stables etc. Use boiling water to speed up process, probably even a blender to make pieces small..
  2. Make the paper (the real activity?) Show the process of using the mould and deckle, using correct terms. Focus on the water bath and the action of getting the paper onto the deckle, placing the paper down on cloths and sponging it off. Talk about ‘kissing it off’ -putting imperfect sheets back in the water bath.
  3. Wait till paper dries, possibly even press it…

Here’s how it went when child initiated..

Mid water fight the kids start sitting in their bowls of water (fully dressed).. there are box creations from earlier sitting around… 1 + 1 = 2. So the boxes end in the water. Boxes disintegrate, “pulp” becomes a cry to action and frenetic tearing the boxes to bits in the water begins. This is sustained and obviously enjoyed.. then there are bowls of water and various bits of card. Next essential activity is getting the bits into the cups and pressing the water out – making sure the cups are full and have the same amount.

There is a discussion about how we made bowls once at playcentre (I really should keep my mouth shut so as not to limit creativity or bring up the question about where that, now recycled, bowl is..). Then we talk about the bits of sellotape. We sit picking bits of sellotape out (the cardboard boxes had been a rocket in a past life)….

Bowl of left overs gets tipped over the deck – it looks like vomit.


Next day ‘cleaning up’ I scrape up some paper vomit and turn it over to dry. Later giving this ‘paper’ to the kids who are delighted and share it.

The pile of “pulp” that had to be taken home is now outside festering.


The skills the kids used (like all good teachers this is a made up list..)

  1. Imagination
  2. Physical activity (participate in creative and regular physical activities and identify enjoyable experiences)
  3. Creativity, the idea to put the stuff together..
  4. Scientific research (observe, describe, and compare physical and chemical properties of common materials and changes that occur when materials are mixed)
  5. Communication/relating to others
  6. Sustainability
  7. Measurement (create and use devices to measure volume)

But we have nothing to show….

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