I’ve given Veronika paper to rip before, a fantastic way to develop strength in little hands, but today we turned it into a slightly more purposeful activity. This game is great because it can keep little ones busy solo for a while, or serve as an activity to do together.
First I filled a toy bucket with various types of paper as a sort of “invitation” for Veronika. I included an old magazine, colored construction paper, a few pieces of junk mail, and bright tissue paper. Newspaper would work great here too!
Veronika was immediately curious about the bucket and started tossing out the contents.
She still needs me to start a rip for her before she can tear a piece of paper in half, but then she loves the riiiiiiip that results.
I started tearing pieces alongside her so we could refill the bucket. It was about halfway full when she announced, “Dump!” and this happened:
And then she said, “Let’s fill it up!” We went back and forth like this a few times.
Then I showed her how to rip out full pages from the old magazine. We crumpled these up and now the game turned into target practice.
She got a fit of the giggles when I said, “Trash can!” and tossed a crumpled piece into the bucket. Hint: This was also a subliminal way to teach the idea of cleaning up, even though it wasn’t a real trash can.
Before we ended the fun, we turned it into a craft. I pulled out a glue stick which she smeared all over a piece of construction paper, and we added a few of the torn pieces of paper into a sort of collage.
She tired of this particular riff on torn paper play rather quickly, but at least we worked in a little bit of art.
In sum, there’s lots you can do with just paper and a bucket!