Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Peek-a-boo! Who's In The Shelter? Science and Drawing

This is a fun project for kids of many ages, especially if they are learning about shelters and habitats and hibernation. This sample was done by my Kindergartener and he had a fun time drawing from photographs (it's too difficult to get a chipmunk to sit still!) and he was able to use the pictures I had on hand to create his own version of the chipmunk, complete with bushy tail (most of the tail is inside the tree).
Peek-a-boo! It's a chipmunk!

Critter In The Hole of a Tree

Supplies Needed:

• One 9" x 6" piece of brown construction paper• Scraps of brown paper• One 9" x 6" piece of black construction paper• One 9" x 6" piece of white card stock• Pictures of the critter you choose• A piece of wood to use for rubbing (make sure it has a nice, raised grain), optional, you could draw the wood grain• Dark brown and/or black crayon• Colored Pencils• Scissors• Stapler with staples


1. Choose the critter you'd like to draw. I talked to my son about the types of animals that would live in holes in trees and under the trees among the roots. He chose to draw a chipmunk. I gathered a couple of photos of chipmunks for him to reference.

2. Draw the critter on the piece of white paper. I drew a line on the bottom edge of the white paper about an inch and a half up from the bottom, so that my son wouldn't draw the animal too low (you want to be able to see the critter when the piece is all together). I told him to draw the chipmunk about 4-5" tall (about THIS big, I showed him with my fingers). You don't want to make the critter too small--we need to be able to see it!

3. Color the critter with colored pencils. Use the pictures as a guide to make the colors just like in nature. Cut around the critter, but leave the 1 1/2" border along the bottom edge of the critter. This bottom border is how you'll secure the critter in your project and it boosts him up so he's peeking out of the hole you'll make later. Set aside your critter drawing for now.

4. Place the brown paper on top of the wood surface and secure with tape. Use the edge of the crayon to rub and create the wood grain on the paper. We used our old wooden steps--the texture was just right. My son drew in one of the knots he saw since that didn't transfer well.

5. Cut a U-shaped section out of the wood-grained brown paper from the top edge. This is the flap for your shelter. Set aside for now.

6. Cut some 1/4" wide strips of the brown paper and crumple a few of them in your hands to use for nesting material inside the tree.

7. Assemble the project: Lay the U-shaped piece of construction paper (not the flap piece, the rest of the tree piece) on top of the black rectangle of construction paper. Staple along one side. Place the critter between these two pieces of paper, with the bottom edges of all the pieces of paper lined up an your critter looking out the hole. Staple along the bottom edge of your piece and up the remaining side. This will secure the critter in the hole. Stuff some of the nesting material inside around the opening of the tree. Replace the flap of the brown construction paper back in place and staple across the top edge to secure it to the piece.

Check out who's living in that old tree! What critter do YOU see?

The project with the flap closed--see the woodgrain?

This is a close-up in case you need it for assembly
or want to check out that cute critter even closer!

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