Paper Chain People
Have your kid create a paper people chain.
- Paper doll makers:You and your kid.
- Cardboard:A cereal or mac n' cheese box will do.
- Computer paper
- Embellishment:Yarn, sequins, googly eyes, rhinestones, beads, etc.
- Felt:To cut out clothes and hats.
- Crayons and markers:To color in different skin tones and add details.
- Clear tape
- White glue
- Create a "person" template by sketching a figure, arms outstretched, onto a piece of cardboard. Cut it out.
- Tape together two pieces of computer paper horizontally. Make sure the tape completely covers the seam where the two pieces meet.
- Next, help your kid fold your long piece of paper up accordion-style. Before you start folding, put your template down on the paper to make sure you fold the paper big enough to fit the template. Both arms should be flush against the edges of the folded paper.
- When you've got your paper all nice and folded, have your kid place the template on top of it (both of the hands should be flush against the folded edges of the paper) and then trace around the template with a pencil.
- Help her cut the image out, being careful not to cut either of the folded edges where the arms end. (If you snip them, you'll end up with a bunch of separate paper dolls—which kind of defeats the unity theme, doesn't it?)
- When she's done cutting, have her unfold the accordion to reveal a string of little people holding hands. Your kid will think this little bit of "magic" is really cool! We still do!
- Invite her to color the dolls with different colors to reflect different people's skin tones. Take this opportunity to discuss in what ways the dolls will be different and in what ways they will be alike.
- Once she's finished coloring in the skin tones, have her add different color yarn for hair and embellishments for eyes. Get her to sketch mouths, ears and noses with the crayons and markers.
- If she's feeling very Project Runway, have her cut out little felt coats, pants or dresses and help her deck hers dolls out by gluing their "clothes" on.
- When they're finished, hang them up and spend some time with your child talking about how the dolls, like your friends and family members, look different and have a variety of skin, hair and eye colors (e.g., Grandma has that gorgeous olive skin that'll never wrinkle, while mommy … not so much).
- Want a longer chain? Tape three or four pieces of paper together in step 2. Or just make another chain and tape it to your first one.