Crafts, Paint Play, Sculpture Play

Kinetic Cardboard Snake Sculpture

This is such a fun way to tinker with cardboard scraps and paper fasteners. My almost 4 year old could do this, but he needed help most of the time, so I’d say this project is best for 4+ year olds.

The snake was perfect for a little guy like mine, because he could simply focus on the new skill of pushing a paper fastener through cardboard and didn’t have to plan how his animal’s parts would work together. The snake body is very forgiving. Older kids would have fun planning and tinkering with how to make different parts of their animals move.

I first discovered this method in photos of a workshop at Kolibri Festival in Finland, lead by the amazing illustrator Ina Fiebig. I’ve been wanting to try it ever since.

Little artist and “Farty” the snake
Let’s get started!

Materials

  • Cardboard scraps
  • Paper fasteners
  • Paint
  • Googly eyes and felt or fabric scrap for tongue

Instructions

If you have a younger child, I suggest making holes in the cardboard scraps ahead of time. I used a pushpin to do this. Then, we talked about snakes and did some movement sketches with our bodies before we started building.

Piece by piece, my little artist chose which parts to add to his snake and carefully fastened them together. Sometimes he would need help.

When Mr. Snake (later named Farty) was finished, we cut out a special part for his head and his tail. Then, the little artist decided which colors to paint him, and I set out an array of painting materials to accommodate his vision.

After he was painted, we added googly eyes and a felt tongue.

Farty is so loved that he has even been invited on our impending 30hr drive back to Minnesota, where we live in the summer time. I’m still considering that prospect, but my little artist is insistent.

I hope you find some time to tinker with kinetic animal creations with your kiddos. It really is fun for the whole family. Enjoy!

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