Five Year Old: Hey Mom, I want to make something ferocious. You know, something that would scare the neighbors. -Like cougar claws. They need to be tough, not the wimpy ones made from regular paper. We need some good strong paper. Actually we need metal. Metal claws would be sharp just like cougar claws.
Mom: No metal. Sorry.
Five Year Old: Fine. How about cardboard or wood.
Mom: How about going back to your "tough paper" idea. Paper is easier to make into claws.
Five Year Old: What's the toughest paper we have? Seriously, Mom. These claws need to be tough and scary.
I'm a huge fan of TinkerLab, and I love following the bi-monthly Creative Challenges, but we've never participated. Right now, there's a paper bag challenge happening. During the conversation above, I remembered the challenge, so I steered my son away from metal or wood to paper bags. (Because you know I would have approved the sharp metal claws if it wasn't for the paper bag challenge, right?)
My three year old joined the fun and we got to work cutting and taping the bag claws. The (glam) gold tape was my son's idea because apparently it looks more cougarish. It looks more Cougar Town to me, but whatever.
It was a ferociously fun morning of claw making, which turned into mask making, which turned into hours of cougar-ing around, trying to scare Mommy. (Fortunately he's forgotten about scaring the neighbors. For now.)
So, what's the connection between paper bags and literacy? Well, first of all, cutting, gluing, taping and coloring = great fine motor work. And of course, pretend play rocks for building literacy foundations. Read more about that here.
Hurry, get your paper bags out! Anyone can join the challenge. It's a super fun way to spend a few minutes (or all day), and there are some seriously awesome prizes available as well. (Hint: Money! and Kiwi Crate!!)
Want more inspiration? Check out the paper bag projects on these creative blogs...
Paint Cut Paste, Imagination Soup, Hands On: As We Grow, Child Central Station, Putti Prapancha, Irresistible Ideas for Play-Based Learning, Teach Preschool, The Chocolate Muffin Tree, Nurture Store, Make Do & Friend, The Imagination Tree, Toddler Approved, Red Ted Art, Kids in the Studio, Rainy Day Mum, Glittering Muffins, Sense of Wonder, Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas, Come Together Kids, My Creative Family, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, A Mom With A Lesson Plan, Angelique Felix, The Golden Gleam, Clarion Wren, Living at the Whitehead’s Zoo, Let Kids Create, De tout et de rien, PlayDrMom, Creativity My Passion, Messy Kids, Kiwi Crate, Tinkerlab