I have made paper with children in the past, but it gets easier each time! You start to understand the nuances of the texture and the pulp, and all 24 children were able to pull a piece of paper that looked like paper. In my past experience, when there were holes and bumps and unevenness in the pieces, they were just as loved. The process of making paper is never disappointing, and with dry, warm weather like we had in Washington this past week, it was a great outdoor activity.
We made a connection to the garden by adding some beautiful stuff, not only for our eyes, but for our noses, too! Flower petals, lavender buds, snips of sage, and even some little broccoli buds made it into the pieces. Each child pressed their harvest into their piece after it had been couched and sponged, while it was still damp. A few petals flew away in the wind, but in general, most of the things were still embedded in the paper! If children were doing this in a smaller container of water and had their own pulp, the natural items could be added right to the water.
If you want to learn more about paper making, you can read about it or you can see a visual tutorial.