Shredded paper is a terrific open-ended play material that is cheap - if not free. We discovered there are seven positive reasons why to play with shredded paper.
To start the activity, I left materials in the corner with an invitation for the boys to play with them. A note left for the boys always causes excitement. This morning was no exception.
There was actually no set objective for this activity other than to allow the boys to explore and create something of their own making and design using shredded paper.
I confess, I was curious to see what the boys would do with the materials and where the activity would lead.
However, as the activity progressed, there were many positive outcomes that developed.
Reason No. 1: Team Work Is Fostered
In no time at all, they'd worked out who was doing what ... (i.e., you've got the paper and I've got the machine - let's put the two together). The team work which resulted was terrific.
Reason No. 2: It's So Much Fun!
It was obvious from the boys reactions that shredding the paper was highly enjoyable ... as was throwing it around and wearing it.
Reason No. 3: Creative Thinking Is Promoted
Once the boys had a pile of shredded paper, it was time to think of what they were going to do with it. Time for some creative thinking.
Difficulty was experienced when they tried to stick a carrot in the snowman for a nose. The paper wasn't strong enough to support the weight of the orange vegetable which was a great learning experience.
When children are given the room to experiment and explore, they are also given the opportunity to experience both succeed and failure. Both are valuable learning experiences.
Reason No. 4: Dramatic Play Is Cultivated
How do all those birds do it?
Remember the carrot mentioned earlier for the snowman's nose? It re-appeared in the play when Daniel decided that if ball-eggs could be hatched, carrot-eggs would work just as well.
The beauty about a child's play is the imagination! Who said eggs can't be made of carrots?
Unfortunately, there were no hatchings sighted at our house today - no baby ball or carrot chicks. I think the egg-sitters left their nests too early.
Reason No. 5: Unusual Dress Ups Are Created
If you're looking for a monster costume, try some shredded paper. Only problem is, these monsters are inclined to shed a bit.
Reasons No. 6: Imaginative Play Is Supported
It wasn't long before the trucks and plastic animals made an appearance. Shredded paper makes the perfect hay to feed the animals and load into the back of trucks.
Reasons No. 7: Easy to Clean Up
Because the activity had been set up on a hard surface, it was super easy to clean up. All that was needed was a broom.
I'd have loved to take this activity outside but we had no where that would have been suitable. Picking the pieces up out of the grass would have been a real pain. Let me know if you have a better idea.
I did think about putting down an enormous tarp outside. May we'll try that next time, especially as the weather is so nice at the moment.
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