Sunday, May 6, 2012

Building with Paper Strips

I think I've said this many times before, but the simplest activities are always the favorites at our house. We have been building with scrap paper strips for several days now and my son and daughter are loving it!

I made these pirate telescopes for a Preschool Pirate Treasure Hunt on Friday. The paper I was given was an inch or two too big, so I had to cut it down. The leftover scraps hung out on our family room floor for a bit and when my son was looking for an evening project I suggested we try "building" with them.

He created all of the letters we've been studying lately and then moved on to creating other things like houses, random zig zag designs, and of course, fires and volcanoes (his favorites).

When my husband got home my son got him involved right away. I loved hearing him explain the rules of this project to his dad- "You just build with the paper strips. You can build whatever you want. There are no rules. It is really fun, you should play with me."

While preschoolers are more into building and creating actual objects, my toddler was more into crushing, scrunching, and ripping the strips and enjoying the process of exploring the strips. She also loved it when we would throw the strips in the air and let them flutter down on our faces.

So, if you have a toddler, the destruction or scrunching route might be the way to go with these scraps. You could also cover the paper with glue or use contact paper and your toddler could just attach the strips once and not worry about moving them around again and again.

I loved how open-ended and inviting this activity was. We talked about colors, shapes, counted the strips, created designs, and even practiced our abcs while we did this "building" project. What a perfect calm down activity right before bed too... or a quiet time activity for your child? 

What are some other ways you use scrap paper to create?

What would your toddler or preschooler create if they had a huge pile of these paper strips to explore?

Did You Know? 
Starting June 1st we will be sharing a monthly Toddler Approved newsletter filled with more awesome activities for kids, parenting tips and tools, and other great resources. You can sign up on the blog's sidebar or click the link here to sign up.


Did you catch my announcement last Monday? I'm expecting a new baby!! This will be number three for our family and we are thrilled! 

We are partnering with to celebrate with an awesome giveaway! Stop by and check out the giveaway post to learn about what you can win and how to enter. The giveaway runs from Monday, April 30th to Tuesday, May 8th at 11:59 PST.

Good luck!


  1. This is so fantastic. We often make letters and numbers with anything we have in front of us - straws, toothpics, pretzels, anything! I think my son will really enojy this activity. Thanks for sharing the idea. I've pinned it!

    1. Thanks Ness! It is amazing how such simple tools can keep kids entertained for hours. Love the other things you build with too!

  2. Simple, fun, educational...what more can you ask for :) Another fantastic idea!!

    1. Thanks :) and thanks for sharing on your Facebook page too

  3. Yes, another great activity. I love how simple this is to set up too. This would make a great activity bag to keep handy for rainy days or travel. Thanks for the great idea :)

  4. I have linked to this post here: Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun Stuff


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