Hands-on kids Activities

From our founding in 1881, NBSS has partnered with several local schools to provide hands-on learning experiences. Today, we still invite middle school students from several local schools to NBSS for weekly book arts and woodworking classes. But while schools are currently closed, our instructors are brainstorming ideas to keep their students engaged in hands-on learning at home.

Watch videos here of craft and book arts activities for all ages, which can be completed anywhere.

WATCH: Make Paste Paper

Kids and kids at heart can easily learn how to make paste paper in this fun video tutorial with our Middle School program instructors Colin Urbina BB '11 and Erin Fletcher BB '12. This versatile hands-on technique has been used since the 16th century to create decorative paper. Make any design you can imagine!

WATCH: Make a Cardboard Automata

An automata or automaton is a moving mechanical object that you can make out of almost any material. In this video Emily Fazzina CF '17, an NBSS graduate and instructor in our middle school woodworking program, shows you how to make an automata out of recycled cardboard boxes.

WATCH: Make a Petal Fold Book

Learn how to make a petal fold book with NBSS middle school and Continuing Education instructors Colin Urbina BB '11 and Erin Fletcher BB '12. This fun shape has "petals" which are folded and glued together, and unfolds looking like a flower or an accordion. Give yours as many or as few petals as you like!

WATCH: Recycled Cardboard Flower Sculpture

Just for kids! Learn how to construct a beautiful flower sculpture to hang on your wall, using recycled cardboard tubes, scissors, and a hot glue gun. Join NBSS Middle School woodworking instructors Emily Fazzina CF '18 and Emily Natale to walk through the process step-by-step, including some decoration suggestions.

WATCH: Make a Recycled City Kite

Build a kite using some recycled materials from around your house! NBSS Middle School woodworking instructor Emily Natale shows here how she made one with kebab skewers, dental floss, and a plastic bag. Watch a how-to video and download instructions here.

WATCH: How to Make a Turkish Map Fold

Learn how to make a Turkish map fold, a fun and unique book form using a single piece of paper! NBSS middle school book arts instructors and Bookbinding graduates Erin Fletcher BB '12 and Colin Urbina BB '11 break down how to fold this intricate shape into a couple of easy-to-follow steps.

WATCH: Make a Book from a Single Sheet of Paper

Learn how to make a fun 8-page folded book from a single sheet of 8.5x11" paper, with NBSS Bookbinding graduates Erin Fletcher and Colin Urbina. When finished, decorate the inside however you like!

WATCH: How to Make an Edible Book!

April 1 is Edible Book Day, an event celebrated all around the world, where "edible books" are created, displayed, photographed, and then—best of all—consumed! Watch a great 30-minute video here, where NBSS instructors share how you can make your own book sandwich.


Craft Activities for Kids: Coming Soon!

Watch a video check in with our Middle School woodworking instructors Emily Fazzina CF '18 and Emily Natale. They've created some woodworking activity worksheets and coloring pages, and they're preparing some fun upcoming activities just for younger learners.


Looking for more? Check out "Color Me Essential," a new coloring book from Artists for Humanity. Featuring their mascot dog Bahk-Bahk, it honors all of the COVID-19 heroes in our communities.



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