I had heard about the Paper Museum. It had even been recommended to me as someplace to take G, but I thought, “A paper museum? How exciting can that really be?” It wasn’t until one of the moms at G’s music class recommended it as someplace her two sons loved to go that I decided to head there with G. And am I glad that I did because G loves it!
The first thing she loved was the water wheel outside the mill. The first time we went, she had me do an entire photo shoot; however, very few of the pictures turned out in focus. (Hashtag amateur photographer problems.) So when we went back with Andy the next month, she was super psyched to show him the water wheel.
Once you get inside, the museum has four floors and each floor discusses part of the paper making process and has an activity for you to do (which makes it great for kids).
The first thing you get to do is make paper. This is potentially messy and I recommend having on short sleeves for this part. The first time we went, I had on a hoodie and pulled my sleeves up, but still ended up with paper pulp all over the place.
Mixing the paper pulp into the water.
Draining off the water.
Once the excess water is drained off, you flip the paper onto a piece of felt.
On the next floor, you can learn about the development of the written language. There are a lot of interactive displays. With an older child, this is probably an excellent learning opportunity. G mostly saw them as things to play with.
Moving up another level, you can learn about the development of the printing press.
On the top floor, you can learn about book binding.
They do bind new books at the museum as well. The first time G and I went, there was a man binding books to be sold at a release party later that month. Very cool.
The top floor activity is probably my favorite: marbling paper.
You can choose your own color scheme and swirl the colors into your desired design.
Then you take the paper off, use a squeegee to remove the excess liquid, and one of the museum staff rinses the paper and uses a dryer to dry the paper (just like on the first floor).
Some of the results of this activity are absolutely gorgeous. We’ve even framed one of G’s sheets and will be hanging it in her room after we rearrange to accommodate her new bed.
Admission to the museum seems a little pricey for adults, but G’s admission is free. We also plan on getting an annual museum pass this year and admission to the Paper Museum will be included! Considering how many hands-on activities you get to do, and that you get to bring home paper you made, pressed, and marbled yourself, the cost seems much more reasonable.