Fair-Weather Forts and other Sunshine Notions

It’s warming up, it’s almost school vacation week here in Massachusetts, and as the leaves are starting to unfurl I thought I’d offer up some paper-craft options for fresh-air fun.

In 1930s London, parents made up for a lack of garden space by suspending infants high outside tenements in wire cages.

That’s an idea whose time has fortunately gone by, but if you’ve got that spring-air fever, may I recommend a fair-weather fort made of newspaper?

Indulge your architectural side and build a geodesic dome out of rolled newspaper struts.  (Alternate directions also available here.)  This is a great activity in small scale or large — I’ve done it with visitors both ways, and it’s always a big hit.  Just typing this makes me want to build one in my backyard.  There’s some fun inspirational architecture-via-recyclables here: Amazing Recycled Architecture.

And while you’re into the newspaper-folding mode, and out in the backyard, try out a six-sided kite or these neat biodegradable newspaper seed-starter  pots. Or make yourself a useful newspaper basket, perfect for a picnic in your geodesic fort.

Hammocks are good. Human sized bird nests may take the cake, though. Click for further pictures!

Looking for other great recycled-material activities and a way to get out of the house next week?  Check out this list of upcoming events for Trash Springs to Life at the Peabody Essex Museum!