Paper Bag Journals

I “taught” Sunday school this morning.  In the summer all the children are put together for one, maybe two activities.  It can be challenging to find something developmentally appropriate for children between the ages of five and fourteen.

The original plan was paper bag nature journals, but I had considered several variations.  I spread the possibilities on the table.  The younger ones could decorate a small paper bag  for collecting nature items.  There were materials to make leaf rubbings.  Simple leaf presses could be made with cardboard, manilla paper and rubber bands.  And of course the paper bag journals.

To make the journal you need a large paper grocery bag.  First cut out the front panel.  Then fold the panel lengthwise once and widthwise twice.

Open the folded panel and draw a cut line down the middle fold of the two inside sections.  (I don’t know what else to call them.)  Then cut along that line.

When you refold the panel lengthwise, open out the cut line as shown to make the middle pages.

Pull the pages around into a book form, punch two holes and tie a string through the holes.  Then decorate the cover and glue pressed leaves and flowers and bird feathers inside.

This began as a nature project with lots of alternatives.  How was I to know that the younger boys and the young adult male assistant could only focus on the leftover paper bag?  They were visualizing other uses for that three sided bag, none of which had anything to do with nature.  After making a quick book with their panels, they cut eye holes and decorated the leftovers to make robot faces and space helmets to wear.  One young girl, not to be outdone by the guys in the group, made her book, then turned her leftover bag into long purple princess hair.

I’m thinking all the guys saw on the table were the paper bags.


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