Making Books with children · moving parts

Paper Springs

How to make a paper spring
Paper Springs

There is nothing that I teach that attracts the focus of young classroom students more than the promise of a paper spring. Nothing that I teach  elicits more ‘oohs’ and  ‘aahs’ than when I show-off a completed spring.  Although it is a small element (about 1″ x 1″ x 2″)  the colors and the movement of it delights children.

Hand made paper springs
Paper Spring Line-Up

My next post will be a how-to handout on how to make a paper spring.  But, simply put, attach, at a right angle, the ends of two equal strips of paper. Alternately fold one strip over the other until you run out of paper.  That’s all.  If you like, take a look  on page 31 of a book I co-authored for Scholastic; here you will find more complete directions.  Or wait unti my next post, which will be an instruction sheet for the paper spring.

The way that I usually use this structure with children is to place it on a page under something that can be enlivened by a bit of movement.  Often, for example, at the back of the book, where there is a blurb about the student/author, I will ask students to cut out a tracing of their hand which they then  mount on a spring, so that the hand waves.

There are many other ways to use paper springs, including gluing them together, end to end.  A word of caution:  if you leave strips of paper behind for children, after having mentioned the bit about the paper chain, when you visit the classroom next you are likely find a paper chain that has aspirations of reaching China.

3 thoughts on “Paper Springs

  1. Your blog and the projects it displays is wonderful! The children are very lucky to have you leading them in these wonderful explorations of letters, books and color!


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