Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Fun with Envelopes

As promised, here are some more fun things to do with envelopes. The outside of the envelope often has lovely boxes of lines under the stamp area or else they bear an interesting postmark. Here I have simply taken some of the wavy lines, straight lines and interior patterned papers--cut them out--and lined them up as packages. Then, they have been topped them with bows. (Wouldn't these packages make for a cute front of a birthday card?) Teachers might want students to count the lines and put the numeral under the package. Maybe these shapes could be buildings instead of packages. Or, perhaps several could be combined to make "blocks" for building. It is advisable to cut (or have students cut) some of the patterns from the outside of the envelope and collect them in a clear plastic bag ahead of time so that there are plenty of pieces available when you begin this activity. Or, have a lot of envelopes available for students to choose and share shapes. Have fun!

Where did you get those great papers?

 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?