At teatime on Saturday my eight year old announced that she had set up a new business. Its name ‘Frantic Shredding’ hints at the concept, a mobile waste paper shredding service. Inspired by the purchase of a mini shredder for 20p at a charity fete earlier that day, she negotiated business through a well-conceived two-tier pricing strategy and a good appraisal of the market -she knew how many boxes of waste paper I had! A deal struck, she and her five year old brother proceeded to set up a production line, with him tearing the A4 paper into shreddable pieces while she turned the shredder handle. The pair then emptied the shreds into recycling bags before swapping roles. After 20 minutes of concerted shredding they decamped to the lounge for Strictly Dancing, after all it was a mobile service! Shredding whilst watching the dancing, they sat for over an hour working their way through the box of paper. During this time they agreed to split the profits, £2.50 each, decided how they’d spend their earnings and displayed heaps of focus, determination and teamwork.

If anyone was in any doubt about children’s ability to concentrate or the potential for almost anything to spark creativity and imagination, not just all singing all dancing toys, then that 20p shredder suggests otherwise. And the creativity for those budding entrepreneurs did not stop there, as some partially shredded paper inspired my eight year old to create mini dolls with pretty fringed skirts. This in turn sparked more ideas as both children fashioned creations from shredded paper. That could so easily have signalled the end to the shredding, but not so, as both resumed their mission the next day, roping Grandma in in the process! And so we’re off to the shops after school today to buy Pudsey bears, the inspiration behind Frantic Shredding!