In my last library we did this activity after reading an article about the Brooklyn Library inviting kids to play in shredded newspaper. Since my coworker had just shredded a ton of paper for a treasure hunting activity we decided to reuse it for an after storytime activity. I chose to use the parachute during storytime, ending with the chute on the ground, so I could throw the paper on top of the chute in hopes of maximum fun and a easier clean up. Well, one of those things definitely happened. 😉
This is not an activity for a day when you are super short on clean up time. No way around it- you will spend time cleaning up the paper. TOTALLY WORTH IT.
For the photos in this post I used shredded hold slips and other paper our library shreds for privacy purposes. It was actually better than the newspaper-it left a lot less residue. Newspaper leaves a lot of dust which was not only harder to clean up but made me sneeze.
Why do this? Because play is a natural way to learn about the world. Through play kids will experience new words, new emotions, learn how to function in a group environment, use their imaginations, and their fine and gross motor skills. I heard “It’s snowing!” and “It’s like a bath!” (both symbolism) and caregivers using words like throw, toss, grab, pinch, gather, stuff, plop, and sprinkle. Kids were instructed by their caregivers to be careful, pay attention to where they were throwing paper, and to be gentle and generally aware of their surroundings. These kids practiced self regulation, as well as developing their vocabulary and motor skills. Plus, they think the library is pretty much the best place in the world. And that’s good enough for me.
As you can see, this was a huge hit. Everyone had a great time and took away something from the experience. Literally. There was a paper trail down the hall and out the door.
The magical breadcrumbs leading to storytime. If you try this let me know how it goes! I’d love to see more joyful kids!