"What is paper made out of?" Tristin and Tyler have asked me this question every once in a while since we spend so much time recycling and crafting with different paper products. My answer has always been: "Paper comes from trees", but thanks to a very informative "tweet" from New York Family magazine, I was finally able to answer that question and show them the paper-making process from start to finish at Wave Hill in Riverdale this weekend. My husband, the boys and I invited a couple of friends to join us at Wave Hill for the paper-making party. We rolled up our sleeves and were ready to get started. Each table was equipped with bins filled with water and cotton.
Then the kids submerged two paper-making screens into the water and let the water filter out until the screen was completely covered with cotton.
This part takes a lot patience because the water drains very slowly through the cotton so we gave each screen a little shake to move it along faster, so you might want to talk to your child and encourage them to hold on a bit because perfection takes patience! :)
Then the top frame comes off and you flip the "paper over" (see below) and press the frame down to squeeze the remaining water out of the paper. You can use a sponge to soak up all of the excess water.
Then you can remove the screens and carefully move the paper to dry sheets of newspaper to dry for about twenty-four hours - yes, I said twenty-four hours!
The fun part was being able to take leaves, branches and other outdoor foliage to add to the papers. The kids loved adding to each paper because they now had something unique and they were excited to say "That's mine over there!"
This was a really great family event for us. We were ALL able to learn something. The kids use so much paper on a day to day basis, so it was enlightening for them to see how much time it takes to make something the use so fleetingly. Now they have a better appreciation for paper and its conservation. They have even started drawing on both sides of paper instead of just one side and tossing the sheet.
But, I must admit, as with all kids...they did get bored after making two sheets each and moved on to coloring. What can I say, kids will be kids!
But hubby and I continued to enjoy ourselves, check out some of our creations below!!