Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss and Paper Making

I've always loved Dr. Seuss and his magical books. Cole and Levi have also enjoyed his books over the years. I like to celebrate his birthday by serving green eggs and ham for breakfast. I think the boys get a kick out of it.

Today we read several of his books: Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop and My Many Colored Days. I read Green Eggs and Ham as Levi ate his breakfast. Levi read the next two out loud before we went on to other work. As he did his vocabulary and spelling assignments I made some little candy eggs with green yolks.

Levi decorated his folder for this month's paperwork. I traced the Cat with black Sharpie marker and he did the rest. (I got the template here, at the Art Projects for Kids blog.) I love the way the hat turned out! He looked to a few of the books for his color inspiration. He noticed as he looked through the books that each one used only a few main colors. Being March, I gave him a little lesson on drawing shamrocks. It was harder for him than I had imagined.

I had planned to do a drawing project for today but changed my mind part way into our reading. After reading the Lorax we talked about the message of the book and I then pulled out some fliers we got at the Oregon Logging Conference this past weekend. While reading one about recycling, Levi commented that it would be fun to make paper and I decided right then to do that project today instead of drawing. Making paper was on my to-do list anyway.

We will actually be using this as a 2 or 3 part project. Today will be the paper making day. In a day or so, after the paper has sufficiently dried out, we will make a book using our piece of paper as the cover. I will fill the book with drawing paper so that he will have a nice little sketchbook to put in the car or his pack.

I happen to have a mold and deckle, pulp remnants and lots of tissue paper and napkins for paper making. I got it years ago after taking a class at a local rubber stamp store. It's been several years since I have done anything with it.

We put a few cups of warm water into our blender and added some of the pulp remnants (these are hard chunks of white paper pulp). Then we added scraps of colored napkins to color our mixture. After blending it for a few seconds we floated our mold and deckle on a large bowl of cool water and poured our pulp over the mold. After jiggling it around a little bit to be sure it covered evenly we removed the mold from the water. The deckle was then removed and a piece of fabric was pressed against the wet paper to wick out some of the moisture. Then we removed the paper from the mod and put it between 2 sheets of fabric, layered it on some towels and rolled it with a rolling pin to extract the excess moisture. The paper was then set aside to dry.

Levi making a piece of paper. "This is fun!"

Paper pieces drying on top of the mini trampoline.

You can google paper making to find more specific instructions if you need.

Don't forget to check back to see what we do with our paper.


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