Create animals and insects from items you'll find around home

Here are a couple of challenges to see how well you can observe nature - and then create your own animals and insects using craft materials or finds from the garden.

Do some research online to check out photos of various animals and bugs and examine their detail up close.

Real-life: crested penguins.

Real-life: crested penguins.

Toilet roll creation: a crested penguin.

Toilet roll creation: a crested penguin.

Zoo rolls

Can you make an animal that you would find at the zoo or aquarium? The only rule is that it has to be made from toilet paper rolls! Above and below are a couple of examples to fire your imagination.

What other animals could you build using toilet paper rolls as the base? Think about an elephant's head, or a giraffe's neck ... get crafty creative!

The real thing - a shark.

The real thing - a shark.

Cardboard copy: a shark made from toilet paper rolls.

Cardboard copy: a shark made from toilet paper rolls.

Leaf bugs

Ever noticed how so many insects resemble leaves, sticks and flowers? They will often blend in with their surroundings - part of their camouflage tactic to protect themselves from predators.

So it only makes sense that you can design your own crafty insect using items you can find around the garden - leaves, sticks, twigs, flowers.

Follow the instructions below to make your own "leaf bugs".

See how a butterfly's wings could look similar to an autumn leaf.

See how a butterfly's wings could look similar to an autumn leaf.

These insect lookalikes have been made from leaves and twigs.

These insect lookalikes have been made from leaves and twigs.

You will need:

  • Recycled heavy cardboard cut into rough squares
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Glue
  • Hole punch
  • Leaves, sticks and twigs from the garden in assorted shapes and sizes

What to do:

  1. Paint your cardboard square with acrylic paint and allow to dry
  2. Arrange your garden items to look like an insect to get your basic design
  3. Tip: to make an eye, punch a hole from a leaf and use the circle you remove
  4. Glue the pieces to hold them in place on the painted square

MORE ACTIVITIES FROM CHILDREN'S UNIVERSITY AUSTRALASIA

TIPS FOR PARENTS

  • Make activities fun, avoid creating stress
  • Spend time doing the activities together, each task is achievable
  • Be guided by your child, let them lead the activity
  • There is no one way of doing a task, be creative, have fun

ACM, publisher of this website, is partnering with Children's University Australasia to bring you a series of weekly activity sheets. The activities are designed to be fun and offer interesting discoveries along the way. While some children are returning to school as lockdown restrictions ease, many will still be spending days at home. We hope these ideas will provide entertainment and opportunities for learning. For more activities and to follow the CUA network, go to cuaustralasia.com.