Make Something: Big Newspaper

“Work with a newspaper to make the biggest thing you can.”

My intention was to buy a copy of today’s Chicago Tribune, then spend the evening slicing it into strips and assembling a paper chain. Wouldn’t that be a relaxing way to invest an hour or two? I figured the kids could help, and we’d use the output to decorate our banister—or even save it for next month, when we’ll put up a Christmas tree.

Then life happened. My intended evening of peaceful crafting became like … well, like most other school nights. High school sports practice. Park district play rehearsal. Grocery shopping. A trip to the bank. Dinner. Haircut for one kid, showers for the other two. Homework. Twenty-some teenagers laughing and snacking in my basement. Phone calls. Email. Dishes. Work I didn’t finish during the day that had to be done before tomorrow’s coaching and consulting calls can begin …

I did pick up a Trib. But the paper chain just wasn’t going to happen. Dejected, as I tucked the girls into bed, I asked for creative ideas. How could I use that newspaper and maybe reinterpret the word “big” to still make something today?

Hannah to the rescue. She trotted off and returned with Silly Putty. As she put it in my hand, she suggested I find a word and stretch it. “Make it as big as you possibly can,” came the 10-year-old’s advice.

So, quite literally, I stretched “money.”


Incidentally, Silly Putty is more delicate than I remembered. I tried three times to enlarge the word, and this was my largest result. Not much growth in this money!

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