{Play} Tinkerlab Challenge | Paper Bag Fan

February 5, 2012 in All Posts, Play, Toddler Activities

You’ve probably seen some of the fun challenges put on by Rachelle over at Tinkerlab.


If you haven’t, check them out here.  For her latest Creative Challenge – Paper Bags – we made a Paper Bag Fan!


  • paper bags
  • anything to decorate your bags:  markers, paint, pencils, or glue + gems/feathers/any small objects
  • a round lid
  • glue and/or tape

How To

One of Jane’s many of-the-moment obsessions includes fans and she loves nothing more than to cool you down with her own makeshift fans.  Regardless whether  you need it, she’ll flutter a flappable object near your face until you thank her profusely for cooling you down.

We had used washable kids’ paint on some paper bags a few days earlier for our Heart Attack on Hubby (post coming soon!), so I thought we would do the same thing to make pretty, painted, paper bag fans.  But this was Jane’s project and she would have nothing to do with painting paper bags.

So, I provided her with some markers – strangely, she would have almost nothing to do with drawing on paper bags.

She had much more fun pulling the marker caps off and clicking them on again.  And again.  And again.  And again.

She didn’t even want to cut the paper bags up.

But, when I pulled out the glue, we hit the jackpot!  She loved squeezing droplets onto the bags.

I thought it was the coolest, too.

Jane decided to glue some leftover gems from Sam’s Pirate Themed Birthday Party onto the paper bags.

Your child could use any objects on hand, as long as they’re not too heavy.  Wouldn’t feathers be awesome?

Figuring out how to put the paper bags together to look like a fan was a little tricky at first, but after spying our stack of 20+ frozen noodle containers we’ve been storing for an unknown project, I realized one of the lids would make the perfect base.

Jane helped gluing and taping down the bags around the lid and I arranged them into place.  If you have an older child, she would be able to do this part herself.  And instead of using a whole paper bag, you could use paper bag strips instead for a cool effect.

I played around with some of the gems – when Jane wasn’t looking!  (Why should she have all the fun?)

But of course, I didn’t “ruin” her already magnificent creation, and quickly cleared them off before she came back!

To keep the fan from being too floppy, we glued popsicle sticks to the back of the fan for more support.  You could glue on several rows, but Jane need the fan, “NOW,” so we stuck with a single-row backbone.  (Try placing them vertically, too).

Jane loves her new fan!
Here it is in action!
For more Paper Bag play inspiration, check out the linky below, which includes activities from these fabulous blogs and bloggers:
Paint Cut Paste, Imagination SoupHands On: As We Grow, Child Central Station, Putti Prapancha, Irresistible Ideas for Play-Based LearningTeach Preschool, The Chocolate Muffin Tree, Nurture Store, Small TypesThe Imagination Tree, Toddler Approved, Red Ted Art, Sun Hats and Wellie Boots, Come Together Kids, Mommy Labs, Kids in the Studio, Rainy Day Mum, Glittering Muffins, Sense of Wonder, Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas, Come Together Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, A Mom With A Lesson Plan, Angelique Felix, The Golden Gleam, Share and Remember, Clarion Wren, Living at the Whitehead’s Zoo, Let Kids Create, De tout et de rien, PlayDrMomRainbows Within Reach, No Time for Flash Cards, Creativity My PassionMessy Kids, The Outlaw Mom,Kiwi Crate, Tinkerlab


Parents and friends: for more ideas, activities, and inspiration for #RaisingThinkingKids, click on an icon below to join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.

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Chrissy – who has written posts on The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Creative Living in a Conventional World.

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