I discovered construction paper during my first year of teaching and I will never stop using it. We refer to it as scrap book paper or craft paper because at my school, that's what we use it for - art, craft, cutting, folding, gluing, etc. It's not only the students using it, I use it too! Why? Let me list the reasons:
1. The many different colors (even black)! I use them to make classroom posters that need to project different layers. Each color would represent a different part of the concept and bring a lot of color to by display area. See the different parts of a flower being represented in the poster above?
2. You can get it in loose pages or already bonded in booklet form. I love the ones that are already bonded because I let my students use these to make their own books as an end of year project. Click here to see an older post I did showing the books my students created about butterflies. The pictures above show the symmetry books my students made. To see more of the symmetry books they made, click here!
3. It is firmer than regular paper but is still easy for little hands to cut and it is available in different sizes to suit any purpose. The very large sizes can be folded down to a quarter of its size to create greeting cards that are quite sturdy. I still love using felt and card stock paper but construction paper is the easiest paper for students to handle, especially if cutting is involved. The picture above shows one that comes with cut-outs of objects from different themes.
I'll say that when it comes to cutting, construction paper is definitely a cut above the rest! And speaking of cutting, here's a look at my cutting supplies... I love this stuff! I collect all kinds of crafting supplies and if it cuts, I have it. I also use them for scrap-booking.
These are mostly craft knives and paper cutters. Always use a craft knife that has a locking blade. Mine is an 18mm cutter by Maped. The rotary cutter also has a safety feature that lets the blade retract and lock at the touch of a button. Of course, these are just for me, not my kids! The hole punchers however, are safe enough for my kids to handle but they usually need a little help with the squeezing of the handles. The purple one at the bottom took me a while to find because long arm hole punchers are rear but I use it for certain things. I know that the regular metal hole punchers are commonly used but I prefer to use the black and gray one because it is so comfortable... holding the plastic covering beats having to squeeze hard metal any day! The shape cutters come in all sorts of shapes like hearts, snowflakes, flowers and stars. The cut-outs look like confetti! Click here to see how I used them to make a phonics craft project with my new class!
Not only is hole punching fun, but it strengthens up the grip for writing.
Hole punching is also great for borders. Oh, the possibilities!