In honor of Father’s Day, craft ideas abound for handmade gifts that kids can make – those misshapen coffee mugs and macaroni artwork masterpieces that parents will carefully preserve for years. But what greater gift can be given than the gift of time? Here’s a fun idea for “paper bamboo” that father and child can make together. And, for those raising an environmentally responsible child, this activity will teach them about a sustainable product that can grow without the use of pesticides, herbicides and irrigation. The bamboo plant is easily harvested by cutting just above the ground and will be ready to harvest again in a few years as opposed to a traditional hardwood that may take 70 years to reach maturity.
The bamboo plant is also a staple of a kid-favorite creature, the Giant Panda! Make it a full day and head to the theater for Kung Fu Panda 2 and then use this craft to show how quickly the bear’s favorite food can grow as long as they are left alone to grow.
Here’s what you need to make your “paper bamboo”:
- Green Construction Paper OR
- White Construction Paper & Green Markers
Here’s how to make your “paper bamboo”:
- If not using green construction paper, use your markers to color the white construction paper.
- When finished, roll the paper into a long tube.
- Add several layers to this roll.
- Tape the papers tightly together at one end.
- At the other end, make cuts about 5 – 7 inches long that go through all the layers.
- Very carefully, pull the inner layers upward. They will “sprout” on the handmade bamboo cane you just designed.
Make sure to talk to you kids about why it’s important to let the bamboo grow and how important it is to the Giant Panda. And make sure you know what a friendly material bamboo is to include in your own lifestyle!
Have a Happy Father’s Day!