Friday, July 10, 2009

We made paper!

Actually we made a couple of things this week, but paper is the one that had lots of pluses and minuses.

So, I found a Bill Nye the Science guy papermaking kit, and the kids have been asking me to try it out for a month and a half. I didn't want to try and get it out before the trip, and so after the trip I got it out and figured out it was going to take a lot of prep work (soaking the paper beforehand for 2 hours...... my kids' patient levels are not that high).

I started off having the tear paper into small pieces in the bucket, then my husband had the BRILLIANT idea of just taking paper out of the shredder. The kids were wildly enthusiastic about this. Make a mess and don't get in trouble.

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So the next morning we put a couple of handfuls in the VERY poorly designed paper blender. If you notice, that is a plastic blade being turned by plastic widgets..... Yeah, so it got stuck very quickly. And the kids were getting impatient.

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Superman trying to turn the handle. "I can't do it Mommy."

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The food processor went much better, and was very popular. Getting to hit a button and watching it spin around like crazy..... Very popular. It still did take a couple of minutes like it said in the instructions.

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Next you pour the paper mush into a flat tray half filled with water (supposedly there is a fill line in the tray, but I never found it). You put your screen down into the water and keep lifting it up until you have a thin layer of paper mush (I did this part, because let's face it the kids doing it would mean I had a thin layer of paper mush all over my kitchen floor).

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Then you put a piece of felt on top of it and start squishing the water out. This part was popular because it was done by screwing something on.

Finally you wait for a day and you have homemade paper. I plan for us to use it on another nursery rhyme page. I'm thinking "Little Miss Muffet," and it'll be her tuffet.

Final results: I think the project is kind of interesting, but my kids are really too young for it. The patience required for all of the different steps drives all of us nuts. Them because they can't touch their project right away. Me, because they keep trying to touch it and I have to make a new piece of paper after they touch.

For more We Made it Posts, go to: Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.
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