My apologies for getting behind. I dropped the ball and we missed celebrating Paper Bag Day yesterday! On July 12, 1859, the paper bag manufacturing machine was patented by William Goodale in Massachusetts. And what a wonderful invention the paper bag is! It's useful for limitless purposes and makes a great craft item!
It might not be the official Paper Bag Day, but it's not too late to celebrate this handy-dandy item.
- Paper bag puppet making is a rite of childhood! There are dozens of print-and-color patterns available at DLTK Kids. But don't feel obligated to follow someone else's muse. Put out the paper bags, crayons, and colored paper and let the kids get creative! My students loved having their paper bag puppets perform poems.
- If you need more of a grown-up project, paper bags make great mini-scrapbooks. Who'd of thunk that??
- If you brown bag your lunches (or your children do) take a minute to write a note on the bag. Or add a fun picture like this dedicated dad.
- If your summer is a bit breezy, try some paper bag kites.
- Older kids will enjoy making a luxurious kitty condo for their favorite feline.
- How about goofy paper bag faces?
- These paper bag trees are listed as an autumn craft, but why stop there? Learn about how trees change during the year and make a model for each season. The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons makes a great literacy tie-in.
- Grown-ups think about haunted houses only at Halloween, but kids love them any time of year. Here's are print-and-color pieces so your little spooks can decorate their own paper bag haunted house.
- If you don't want haunted houses, why not design some regular ones?
- Paper bags aren't just for crafts! Round up some neighborhood kids and give the Paper Bag Game a try! Laughter is bound to ensue. (The teacher in me gets a bit squeamish about having everyone putting their mouths on the same bag. Maybe each player gets her own bag or is assigned one side of the bag?)
- If you have older children, there's another type of Paper Bag Game. This is an interactive game from Christianaid.org that provides children with an insight into the difficult conditions of third world poverty. This might be a great opportunity to help your adolescents get involved with charity. Heifer International and Kiva are two organizations that work to improve lives not just provide handouts.
- Paper bag skits are a wonderful way for children to get creative and practice working together. They're also a handy rainy-day entertainment.
- If you have access to a fire pit, you can cook bacon and eggs right in a paper bag! I recommend spraying the inside of the bag first with nonstick spray.