I received a delivery yesterday. It was a box containing something I can’t remember, but also containing a large amount of bubble wrap. I was excited! One of the best inventions. Designed to protect fragile items, the combination of plastic and air provides so much more. Pressing a bubble between two fingers, feeling the plastic stretch with the pressure, and then POP! There is a satisfaction that happens at that moment and a desire to keep going. Bubble wrap can be used for stress relief, management of anger and frustration, and the enjoyment of a simple cause and effect experience. Children often respond positively to bubble wrap. When I worked with school aged children I set up a “Peace Corner” designed to offer comfort, solitude, and a get away from the activity of the classroom. Often, children who were frustrated and on the verge of lashing out would seek out the Peace Corner to let go of some energy. The corner contained items such as play dough, bubbles, pin wheels, squish balls, stuffed animals and bubble wrap. I could hear the bubble wrap popping like a machine gun for several minutes before a child emerged, often more relaxed.
I remember how much of a treat bubble wrap was in my house, growing up. My brothers and I would see who could get to it the fastest and then beg for a turn.
Besides relieving stress, bubble wrap can provide exciting stimulation for young children. The sharp, loud pops and the sensation felt by little fingers or feet bring startled smiles and squeals. So, the next time you find bubble wrap in your possession, enjoy it before throwing it out but do be cautious and never leave young children unattended with bubble wrap or any plastic sheet material.
What recycled materials did you enjoy as a kid?