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  • Writer's pictureAmy Godfrey

Creative Play Ideas - Paper Kingdom

Another one for my collection of inclusive Creative Play Ideas. These activities have been tried and tested by my 2 Autistic, sensory sensitive/seeking, learning disabled children as well as neurotypicals.

Today we're building a paper kingdom!

This activity is suitable for a cognition level of about age 5 for solo play and perhaps 3 if an adult is present throughout.

There are scissors in use here and a risk of the odd paper cut - so go slowly and be safe.

Approximate preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Senses stimulated: SIGHT, SOUND & TOUCH

It's actually really simple to create a kingdom/town/village using just paper and some masking tape. It's exceptionally low-mess so perfect for the sensory-sensitive ones as well as parents who want to play without an epic clean-up at the end!

What you need:

  • Rolls of paper - you can use wrapping paper, flip board pad sheets, brown packing paper, unwanted wallpaper etc... Obviously larger rolls will create larger structures, but creating a mini village is really adorable if your hands are able to do a bit of fiddly work!

  • Scissors

  • Paper or masking tape (you can use sellotape but paper tape is so much easier to tear and use and you only need low-tack tape for this. Much kinder to the environment too.)

  • (Optional) fine liner or felt tip pens

  • (Optional) little toy figures for some interactive play in the buildings

How to play:

  • Gather sheets of paper and roughly roll into tubes.

  • Find the innermost corner and gently pull it up (giving the tube a bit of a shake down helps!)

  • Use a little roll of tape (to create double-sided tape!) to secure the tower in the position you want it.

  • If you want you can cut tall towers into shorter ones.

  • If you create a cone shaped tower you can slice the base to create flaps that can be taped to the table/display board.

  • Create crenellations by slicing two slits downwards from the top of a tube then tearing off the section between. Leave a gap and repeat.

  • You can add roofs too. First, create a square.

  • You can make one from a rectangle by folding one corner to its opposite to make a triangle then cutting off the rectangular strip along the side.

  • Turn the square into a circle by folding it over into a triangle then keep folding it onto itself - like you would for a snowflake - then cut the jagged top in a slight curve.

  • Open up to reveal a circle with folds.

  • Use those folds to create a wide cone shape and tape into place.

  • Choose a tower to balance each cone onto.

  • Use the folds in the circle to shape it into a wide cone then choose towers to adorn with roofs. You can just balance on top or secure with tape if you prefer.

  • Finally it's time to add features and colours (if you like!) Use a felt tip or fine liner pen rather than ballpoints or pencils as these are more likely to bend the buildings as you press down; you need markers you can press gently with to preserve the shapes you just built.

  • Try adding windows, bricks, maybe some climbing plants or mosses etc...

  • You can also draw then cut out little doors or even a big drawbridge!

  • Have fun exploring different kinds of paper; ready-coloured or you could prepare some painted paper a previous day and use them for this activity when they're dry!

  • Little character toys like Lego figures or Playmobile can be great to make the paper kingdom imaginative and interactive.

  • When the buildings have been played with enough they can simply be recycled. Waste-free play time!

  • ENJOY!

Learning & Development

All sensory and creative play is excellent for development:

  • fine motor skills

  • boosts imagination,

  • improves social, play, communication and observation skills

  • sparks curiosity

  • develops hand-eye coordination

  • improves focus and attention

  • supports emotional regulation

  • turn-taking

  • stress-relief

  • fun!

  • & creates opportunities for CONNECTION 

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