New Year 2011 was spent up in Scotland visiting relatives. As usual a great time was had with mixing chill out time with big occasions including a 50th wedding anniversary and a New Years celebration with Ukeleles and fab beer. Most of all it give us another opportunity to get to know our brand new niece and inevitably we ended up one morning drawing and creating paper things. When put on the spot to create an activity or a pop-up, it can be daunting but by using the simpleist of techniques, effective results can be achieved.
The first pop-up I ever learned to do (& I guess most people are shown) was a simple V fold mouth. Created by folding a sheet of card in half and then making a small straight cut perpendicular to the folded edge. Now fold back the edges above and below, these should create two right angled triangles. Make sure that the folded edge is well defined. Now open the piece of card with the valley fold at the bottom and slowly push the two triangle areas outward using your predefined folds as the guide. You should be creating an upper and lower pyramid shape forming an upper and lower lip. Make sure the hypotenuse of the pyramids are in the same plane as the valley fold of the original card. You should now be able to close the card completely, opening again should give the impression of a speaking mouth. Sounds more complicated than it is, as always Sabuda has an excellent guide to show how it is done
Once created draw some features, face, eyes, a body, a bit of colouring… and for example, you have a frog (which for licensing issues looks nothing at all like a certain green furry TV star…. really) or a reindeer (as the niece designed). It is really not that difficult. But for something so quick and easy it is so effective at creating an instant pop-up which has motion and movement which gets an immediate response, allows a large degree of artistic creativity and gives an opportunity to develop imaginative play. And more importantly the niece seemed to enjoy making it.
Later on another classic activity was carried out by the family creating snowflakes. Simple to do. Create a square of paper, fold corner to corner, then continue folding until you have a thin triangle (the more folds you put in the more intricate the design will be) Now cut out segments of the triangle from both the top and side edges. And cut off the point either in a curve or straight line. Once finished, Unfold the triangle to release the original snowflake you have created. For young ones unable to use scissors, there is ample opportunity for them to draw the cut out elements or decorate the finished flake. As you can see it makes a productive fun afternoon activity