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Friday, August 19, 2011

Kids Craft: Bits of Paper Greeting Cards

One of the skills Oggie started working on this Summer is Cutting (Paper) with Scissors. He still has quite a ways to go before we try complex cutting exercises, but, it is a nice activity for developing fine motor skills at 3-ish.

Whether I was ready or not he seemed ready for it. Every time Ana did her art/craft work involving cutting this summer, he started observing her keenly, trying to imitate her. So, I finally set up an activity tray with the required materials for him to do it any time he wants.

I remember Ana at about 3-ish was also working on her Cutting skills. She seemed quiet and steady, rather focused and involved in her activity. Oggie seems more effervescent and chatty in comparison, while still enjoying his activity.

And to make the cutting activity more fun and to not waste the bits of paper, we decided to make simple greeting cards, with Oggie doing most of the work and me adding the finishing touches.

Og has done quite a bit of gluing so far, sometimes just for fun, sometimes to assist me, and sometimes to make greeting cards like Valentine Cards, Penguin Holiday Cards.

The dozen-odd cards came about over several cutting and gluing sessions. Some days he likes to work on this activity for up to an hour cutting and gluing with intense focus, some days just cutting 3 or 4 colorful strips into bits, some days just gluing the bits he has saved and so on. I turn them into greeting cards as and when I find time.

Items Used: Construction paper (various colors), kid-safe paper-cutting scissors, glue stick, card stock paper (various colors from remnant stacks), printed messages like 'Thank You', 'Happy Birthday'

I save leftover bits from Ana's collage work, one-side printed papers and such hoping to use them later. I have a dedicated shoebox for collecting colorful scraps of paper. Also, assorted plain or printed paper stacks are on sale on and off - office supply store or craft store usually have them for marked-down prices as these are basically little pieces of paper that they cannot sell otherwise.

Preparation: Snip the colored construction papers (or any other colorful paper) into ½-inch or 1-inch wide strips about 5 or 6 inches long so the small hands can handle it better. Or, cut uneven fringes on a piece of paper so that a single successful cut by the child can generate many bits of paper at once. Have a few 3x4 or 4x4 or 4x5 inch plain pieces of paper handy for sticking the bits of paper onto.

  1. Let the child practise cutting the strips of paper into smaller bits. They need not be uniform. Thinner paper makes it easier for the beginners to cut (and feel successful) so I use just colorful copy paper or bond paper or construction paper. Og didn't like the non-uniform fringe paper I had prepared so we went with the strips of paper
  2. The child can apply glue to a square or rectangular plain piece of paper and stick these cut bits of paper. With Ana and now Og, I find that it is less frustrating for them to apply the glue stick over a larger area rather than try to apply glue to each bit of paper and stick it on. The bits to glue on can be monochromatic or colorful, I left that to Og and he did both
  3. Glue stick seems less cumbersome and easier to use for small hands; liquid white school glue is messier and harder to control for Og. However, with Ana I remember that diluted white glue with a brush to apply it worked better. Oggie just spills it and makes a mess.
  4. Allow to dry. Trim this Mosaic piece of paper to desired size for greeting card.
  5. Mount this trimmed piece of Mosaic paper on colorful cardstock slightly larger to have a contrasting border
  6. Glue this to the front of a folded greeting card.
  7. Have the child glue a printed message inside et Voila!

With Ana, I used to draw an outline of a simple object - like robot, jack-o-lantern, flowers - and have her glue the bits of paper to bring out the image of the object.

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At 11:18 PM, Blogger Lavs said...

Landing at your site after aeons:)

Interesting post. LB now has lots of cutting and pasting as his school and after school activity. Ana does things with her tongue while concentrating on cutting with scissors and my son does the same:)

I wanted to make some simple cards and combining this with cutting and pasting job is a brilliant idea. Will try this idea on LB.

Hope you are doing fine.

At 11:14 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Lavs:: Wonderful to hear from you after all these months!! Hope things are fine at your end as well. I know I sound like a broken record, but Thandai on Oggie's baby legs invariably reminds me of LB!!


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