I just finished doing a Florida Reading Association workshop on the 9th of September. Teachers are a receptive audience and love to discover inexpensive activities that can be coupled with curriculum studies. I will admit, teachers are sometimes surprised at the "trash" I collect and turn into treasures. Recently I discovered that security envelopes have some of the most beautiful patterns on the inside--and that there are many different designs. To unlock the beautiful papers, simply cut off the side edges of an envelope and open it to reveal the inside paper. What a treasure! (Kids will love to look at the patterns with a microscope too.) Just think of all the lovely collages you could make using the papers. Here are just a few samplings from the inside of envelopes. I collect them and put them in a clear zip-type plastic bag. Although a lot of banking and bill paying is now done on-line, it's amazing the number of envelopes that still come to the house. Collect a lot of patterns and let your little ones create interesting and fun shapes and collages using the pieces.
Most of the patterns are in browns, blues and blacks and many have shapes tucked inside the patterns. I also use the rest of the envelope in some pretty interesting ways. That will be the next two blog posts. This bottom picture is a close up of several different envelope insides. Some already suggest fabric and/or landscape features. Have fun!
What would you make with these designs?