<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-5928″ src=”https://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/table-top-time-feature.jpg” alt=”Using simple kraft paper to cover the kids’ activity tables at our library. It saves space while encouraging creativity | hafuboti.com” width=”1224″ height=”835″>
Another one of my “projects I’ve been waiting to do” was putting butcher paper down on our kids’ tables. After reading about <a href=”http://mowillemsdoodles.blogspot.com/2013/07/dining-room-dinner-doodles-news.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>how Mo Willems covers his dining room</a> table with butcher or kraft paper and then has “dining room dinner doodles” with his family, I knew that I wanted to do something similar with one of our tables. We were burning through magic erasers getting rid of crayon scribbles all over our tables, and this seemed like a good creative solution to this problem. Then I saw <a href=”http://www.pinterest.com/pin/537758011726694181/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>this pin</a> and that did it.
And here’s our version:
<img class=”alignnone wp-image-1322″ title=”Wrapping our children’s library’s tables with brown butcher’s paper: encouraging both cleanliness and creativity!” src=”http://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/table7.jpg?w=584″ alt=”A simple protective layer of brown craft paper over our children’s tables encourages creativity and keeps the tables clean.” width=”584″ height=”551″>
Heading into the new year we purchased a big roll of brown paper, and wrapped a piece lengthwise down one of our two tables. I then added frames with an encouraging “Draw on Me” written on it since this was a new thing and felt that kids (and parents) needed encouraging. <em>Side note: permanent markers don’t work well on this cheap paper – crayons are the best. Not that this is a huge revelation or anything, but it did surprise me.</em>
Amusing enough, the first day it was up I heard a mother say “Oh honey, no, do that over here.” I didn’t think twice about that until I went back to wash my hands at the hand sink and saw the mother’s toddler gleefully scribbling the last few inches of his coloring sheet – on the uncovered table. My best guess is that because I drew the frames on the paper, the mom assumed that kids were only supposed to draw <em>on</em> that paper and within the frames. Yeah, that’s all I can figure. Needless to say, by the next day <em>both </em>tables had been covered with paper. Since we plan to change out the paper <em>at most </em>once-a-week (plus making sure that both sides of the paper get used – that was a fun “facepalm” realization to have) I don’t think it’ll be a waste of the paper.
<img class=”alignnone wp-image-1406″ title=”My homage to Mo Willems’ inspiration for this: Elephant and Piggie encourage both kids and parents to draw on the paper.” src=”http://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/elp.jpg?w=584″ alt=”My drawing of Elephant Gerald and Piggy with the word bubble saying "We love drawing on the tables – please draw with us!"” width=”584″ height=”524″>
So far, it seems to be very popular – and nothing super-inappropriate’s been written or drawn on them (one tween was caught writing that her sister is stupid – so far that’s been the worst). I also plan on creating a <i>Flickr </i>gallery to show off some of the more bright and inventive drawing.
<img class=”alignnone wp-image-1408″ title=”Okay, so on the second table I had to include Pigeon. I mean Mo Willems-inspired activities just scream for a Pigeon cameo.” src=”http://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/pig.jpg?w=584″ alt=”Mo Willems’ Pigeon and "Don’t Let the Pigeon Doodle on the Tables!" doodle to encourage others to doodle. Doodling!” width=”584″ height=”469″>
The most wonderful aspect that I didn’t really foresee was that <em>this </em>is finally a passive program that parents seem to naturally participate in with their children. It’s been a joy to see moms, dads, and even granparents merrily drawing along with their children. Sometimes working together to create some truly fun art. One mother drew something (like a house) on one side of the table, and then her daughter would mirror her on the other side. <em>Too cute! </em>
A few more of my favorites:
<img class=”alignnone wp-image-1409″ title=”Either a rainbow horse or magical unicorn says "Hi." Horses and dogs are a favorite subject to these are pieces.” src=”http://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2014-01-18-14.jpg?w=584″ alt=”A pink and mauve horse says "Hi" with a glowing special orb above it.” width=”584″ height=”599″> <img class=”alignnone wp-image-1410″ title=”I call this "Abstraction with Smiley Face."” src=”http://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/abstract.jpg?w=584″ alt=”A simple smiley face looks upon a colorful abstract blob near its head.” width=”584″ height=”441″> <img class=”alignnone wp-image-1411″ title=”A young artist is inspired by our "Build a Band" game sheet.” src=”http://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/rock.jpg?w=584″ alt=”A fun version of our Build a Band game sheet featuring the guitar and microphone.” width=”584″ height=”628″> <img class=”alignnone wp-image-1412″ title=”Another home with a playground nearby. This time a magical horse looks over the scene. I mean, just LOOK at that epic tail and mane – it’s gotta be magical.” src=”http://hafuboti.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/scene2.jpg?w=584″ alt=”Another idyllic scene of home. Only this time the colorful image has a giant horse with giant hair overlooking everything.” width=”584″ height=”381″>