Not long ago your school offices and classrooms relied on paper. Paperwork was a real process — confusing, convoluted, and at times confounding. In a word byzantine (that’s a good one, right?) But since you’ve put Script to work, paperwork is seamless, streamlined, speedy, and searchable. Your offices and classrooms are truly reflective of the potentialities of the 21st century. The only problem is you have reams, reams, and reams of unused paper now. What to do? We here at Script want to help, and even have ideas for this. Here’s our top 10:
Make Papel Picado Decorations for Day of the Dead
By now almost everyone has seen Pixar’s Coco, which means almost everyone loves Pixar’s Coco. The film was inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. This holiday remembers family members and ancestors through vibrant traditions, among them papel picado. Papel picado is a decorative craft that uses repeating designs cut into colorful paper which can then be hung up on walls or across rooms. Papel picado is an easy DIY project which can bring some color and culture to any classroom or office.
Host a Paper Airplane Contest
In the time of STEM this one is a perfect way to bring everything together. Excess paper can be used in the design and construction of novel paper airplanes. The goal can be distance traveled or time in the air but either way there will need to be some research and thought done on flight and aerodynamics. A further twist could be allowing the use of paper clips, staples, or other now superfluous office materials. This is one highflying use of paper that would otherwise just be sitting around.
Build a Papier-mâché Maze
Another Day of the Dead connection? Papier-mâché, the fancy French way of saying mashed paper, is repulped paper that when mixed with glue or other adhesives can be molded to artwork, toys, masks, even models of scenery. As an artform it was used as far back as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, but it’s still pretty awesome and a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Competition comes to mind again but it could just be some way for the beautification of empty spaces.
Walk in a Winter Wonderland
If you like the sound of the papel picado but you’re worried about the mess of colors and dyes you could always celebrate the winter time with some snowflakes. There is still creativity involved, and scissors for better or worse, but the end result is something that can go a long way in bringing some character and festive joy to otherwise barren walls. It is right around the corner, and you do have all that paper sitting there.
Decompress with Origami
This one works with all ages, from those just starting school to the oldest staff members. Take an hour each day and let everyone take a break from other activities to work on Origami. This will allow them to practice mindfulness and take a step back from the stresses of the day while creating something of beauty. It’s long been studied as something to help children but there are definitely adults that could use the opportunity too. As an artform that can be very complex there is a graduated difficulty, so really you could put this into place and people would grow with it.
Send Hidden Messages
Every school has its own technology policies for smartphones (and cellphones) for students and staff. We think it could be a fun experiment if in lieu of policing smartphones the sending of hidden messages written on paper could be allowed. All they would need is some lemon juice and a brush and they could create messages in a simple invisible ink. Recipients would need to hold the paper up to a lightbulb later but that might not be practical in the school environment. Maybe this whole idea wouldn’t be either, but it would teach a thing or two about oxidation.
Divide Classrooms for Small Groups
With tons of paper still in the packages it would be easy to make artificial walls whenever necessary. This could be useful whenever small groups are necessary as it would actually give them some isolated space to work in. Cased paper is sturdy and tough enough to serve this purpose, even on more than temporary basis. Although you might have to check with a fire department on this, we know this is something that comes up often with teachers and decorations.
Make it Antique
Crumple some paper, set it in a cup of tea, then hang it to dry. It’s that simple. Once dry you can make treasure maps, old looking texts, proclamations, rules, anything really! The advanced practitioners will often mention burning the edges but we’ve already brought up fire departments once before so we won’t go that far again. Either way there is something fun and nostalgic about aged looking paper, kind of like adding filters to photos.
Who doesn’t love celebrations and confetti? Birthdays, holidays, achievements, graduations, there’s really no shortage of opportunities for throwing small bits of confetti around. Sure, it will have to be cleaned up afterwards but it’s tons of fun in the moment. Writing this one down has me actually wondering about the amount of material involved when something like the World Series or Rose Bowl is won. Kind of disconcerting, actually.
Piece out a Giant Map
Another great interdisciplinary activity could be to build a giant map, I’m talking multiple wall-sized. The scale would have to be determined and afterwards each participant would know how much to contain on their particular 8.5 x 11 inches portion. It could be of the community, the state, the whole U.S. or even a world map! Creating it large enough would allow for fun details and personality to shine through. Mathematics, Art, Social Studies — it all integrates. Participants could also include themselves, like in Where’s Waldo. The bigger the better and, as you have so much sitting around now, the more paper.
Go Green and Save Your Green
Really, at Script we are happy enough to see our product helping schools and districts do what they do better and more efficiently while saving time, cutting costs, and not cutting trees. Administration is necessary, and has to happen, but with Script it will be much less wasteful and burdensome. It integrates with procedures and software already in place and we are always here to help. Choose Script, not clutter.