Introduce your child to scrolls.

How to Make a Scroll for Small Children

by Mary Davis

Some days you just want to pull your hair out when your kiddo can't entertain herself and nags all day..."Read to me, Mom!" Don't turn her off from special reading times together, but offer something she can do without much supervision. Surprise your little reader with an alternative to books while still fostering her love for reading. Help her make a scroll, or even several. Explain a scroll as what stories were written on before books with pages were ever made. She will love making both horizontal and vertical scroll stories, and you will love opening a whole new horizon for her. She might even just entertain herself with this activity once finished, leaving good old Mom with mixed feelings.

Rolled Scroll

Cut a strip of paper from a brown grocery bag, cutting from the open top to the bottom of the front or back of the bag. Make the strip cuts about 6 inches apart.

Place the strip on a work surface where your little crafter can reach it easily. Arrange it so that the longer portion is facing left to right and the shorter portion is up and down.

Crumple the paper strip, then help her smooth the strip out on the work surface again.

Show her how to dab wet, cool tea bags onto the paper. Have her cover the paper with the teabag drippings, using other wet bags when needed. Let the paper dry.

Encourage her to write words or letters and draw pictures to tell a story, just like in the books she loves to read with you. Provide magazine picture cutouts for her to glue onto the scroll, if she wants to add them.

Roll the scroll from the left side to the center of the paper strip, then from the right side to the center. Tie a ribbon around the scroll to keep it from unrolling.

Hanging Scroll

Provide a 1-foot length of wire-edged ribbon to make a vertical scroll to hang on a wall. Wrap about 1 inch of the top of the ribbon around a 4-inch-by-1-inch strip of craft foam. Staple the ribbon onto the craft foam. Repeat for the bottom edge.

Tie one end of a 10-inch length of ribbon onto the left edge of the foam strip and the other onto the right edge of the foam to form a hanger.

Turn that little Rembrandt loose with crayons, markers, stickers or magazine cutouts and glue. Hang the scroll up on a cupboard handle or somewhere else so it can air dry, if he used glue.

Hang the scroll on a wall area or a doorknob where the creator can enjoy it.

Items you will need

  • Brown grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Wet tea bags
  • Crayons or non-toxic markers
  • Magazine picture cutouts
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • 3-inch wide wire-edged ribbon
  • Craft foam
  • Stapler and staples


  • Give child-created scrolls to grandparents for any occasion, to friends for party invitations, and let her make scrolls for a pretend graduation party with her favorite dolls or stuffed toys.
  • Help your child make hanging scrolls, either vertical or horizontal, for gifts to family members, caregivers or Sunday school and preschool teachers.


  • Take precautions if you wish to add dowel sticks to each end of a scroll. Young children may run with the finished scroll and get hurt by the sticks or even try to chew on them.

About the Author

Since 1992, Mary Davis has sold numerous articles and stories, greeting cards, calendars and novelty items. She also has sold Christian education reproducible books and Christian children's journals. She writes Sunday school curricula and teacher ideas and tips for both Christian and secular markets. Her topics include everything from children's stories to OSHA/safety topics.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images