About 20 years ago, someone gave me a big roll of brown paper. I lugged it home thinking I could do something artsy with it, although I had no idea what.
So I stuck it in the back of the closet until such time as an idea came to me. And there it stayed for about 10 years until I moved and stashed it in the back of yet another closet for another ten years. Then I had a child. And an idea. And the brown paper was finally put to use.
About once a week, Sean and I will get out the big roll of brown paper and stretch out six or eight feet on the floor and make something. Because that’s what we do. We make stuff. We’ve got crayons and markers and we are not afraid to use them.
Last year, he was really interested in the rain forest, so we read a book on the rain forest and we learned about the various animals that inhabit each layer. Then we rolled out about 8 feet of our trusty brown paper and drew a ginormous tree and worked together to create a verticle mural of the rain forest from the river to the canopy. It was fun and educational and a great way to kill a rainy afternoon.
The year he was four, around Christmas time, we rolled out the brown paper and I had him lay down on it so that I could trace his outline. Then he painted and drew himself as a Santa and we cut it out and displayed it on the wall. You deck your halls with boughs of holly, we deck ours with dwarf-sized brown paper Santas. We made another brown paper “Seanta” last year and again this year and it’s been fun to see how he has grown, physically and artistically.
Twenty years ago, I had no idea what I would do with that roll of brown paper. The roll is almost gone and I still don’t know what I’ll do with it from day to day, but I know it will be something.