I recently bought a packet of paper plates. My intention was to use them for a stepping stone game, at the suggestion of a friend back home: you make a trail of paper plates and then off you go along the trail. Dustyfeet liked this but then we discovered “Islands” (see this post) and paper plate trails became a bit boring.
Paper plates are so much more robust than the piles of scrap paper that Sandydad brings home from work.
We had a lot of fun splurging the paint around on the plates. We also found that bottle tops make nice prints. So do hands. The purple star was Dustyfeet’s idea.
When the plates had dried, I cut out the star and cut the more organic paintings into flower shapes. We found a wire coathanger and a piece of ribbon (the decorative kind that comes around flowers and chocolate boxes, and has wire along the edges so you can shape it) – and we made a mobile.
Inspired once again by the Imagination Tree, we also did some handprint Incy Wincy Spiders and a sun to go with them. I didn’t manage to photograph them because my hands were covered in paint at the time, but here’s what I made with them after Dustyfeet had gone to bed:
An Incy Wincy Spider theatre!
This is a cereal box on its side, with the front cut out. The drainpipe is a waterbottle with the bottom cut off. The top of the bottle sticks through the top of the box, and Incy can be raised up and down on a string. The raindrops (cut from Dustyfeet’s blue paper plate painting) are attached to a cardboard handle which goes up and down through another hole in the top, and the same again for the sun.
I used a pile of old paintings to decorate the front of the theatre and to cover the floor and the backdrop.
I wondered if Dustyfeet would mind me cutting up her art work, but she was very impressed with it. I like the way she is immensely proud of everything she has done (she points out her wall of paintings to all our guests and insists that they admire them), but that she doesn’t see them as being in any way sacred or not to be interfered with. She is particularly proud of the flower mobile and seems to like the fact that I have used her work and taken it to a different level, where it becomes something more than just finger paints on paper plates.
As for the paper plates, they’re a brilliant vehicle for paint, and being made of cardboard you can do so much more with them afterwards. We’ll be using them for many more activities in the future!