Simple Idea #121: Paper Creations

Art was something I did alot as a child, and something I have encouraged my children to do as well. It’s always exciting to see our oldest son’s imagination at work year after year. The youngest is still scribbling, but he’s on his way.

Something I taught our oldest about a year and a half ago was to take a finished drawing, and cut it out. From the moment he first saw his formerly two-dimentional creations freed from the page, he was hooked.

I tell you, there are few things I enjoy more on a Sunday morning than a hot cup of coffee and some simple, relatively mess-free arts and crafts. And compared to clay, glue, glitter or paint – I consider scotch tape and paper manageable.

It’s great watching our boy’s paper characters evolve. It’s even better to know that such simple projects can be great exercises in thinking ahead and paying attention to detail. As he draws, he’s thinking forward to each little snip required. He used to just cut them out in big chunks, but I’ve worked him to really dig in, flush out all the details and not cut corners – so-to-speak.

He’s really into it now, even naming each creature one as he goes.

After about a hour, we had a nice collection going. The whole idea of course (as anyone with boys will understand) is to eventually pit them together in a major paper battle, which we did.

The Sunday morning line-up today, in no particular order, was:

“Simple but feared … weighing in at a hefty .07 grams … the Electric Python!”

“Squid Man”

“Longer Tongue”

“Double Eye”

Seriously, my five year old named this guy, “Swinger Monster.”

And last but not least, Dad’s very own “Krumlok.”

Yeah, we set the creative bar pretty high ’round here.

I even gave Krumlok a set of interchangeable eyes by making a little sleeve in the back of his head and cutting paper strips with various eyes on them them.

You can also see where I folded some paper to make reinforcement rods, which I taped all along his back side.

He was sure to win. I could feel it.

I always try to take it up a notch each time we do an activity together. I like giving the kids a sense of going that extra step and stretching possibilities. I’m not sure, but I hope it translates for them later in life, as a reminder to go beyond “good enough”.

But “good enough” has its place I suppose.

After all, both of Krumlok’s eyes fell out early in round one.

To my horror and shame, the young but assertive referee was quick to proclaim that Krumlok was now “totally dead.”

It was astonishing: with toy boxes bursting at the seams, and newly unwrapped treasures still under the tree, the boy tended to these paper dolls with unfathomable attention.

Once all the flimsy creatures had clashed, (which is far more quiet and gentle then plastic action figures colliding) they laid lifeless on the dining room floor, some mended with clear tape, others in tattered strips.

In the end there would be two victors: one proud boy with an expanding imagination and a glad dad with an easy clean up.

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One Response to “Simple Idea #121: Paper Creations”

  1. Danielle Says:

    Great job, Luke! Ironically, yesterday I was privy to Rob’s very first sketchbooks… I laughed until I cried at the spelling and the naming of each creation. And then I just cried at how blessed I felt to have some insight into my wonderful partner as a child.

    *And I learned a lesson… To not correct everything – like when kids misspell things in their artwork, it really was a delight to see his interpretation of things at age 4. Took a little translating, but in the end it was simply precious!

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