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 ISSUE 23   •   28 JANUARY 2007  
   This issue: jungle


1. Editorial
2. Make: a paper cup lion (and other animals)
3. Make: a bitey box croc

4. Make: a fabulous jungle diorama
5. This issue's featured subscriber's blog

1. Editorial

My parents bought me a camera when I was about eight and to this day I remember the excitement of being handed a packet of newly developed photos to look through for the first time. I'm not sure if it was the camera or my technique but lots of my photos were disastrously off centre. I still have some of these unfortunate prints, many of which feature my sister's left ear, the rear end of my pet guinea pig or the dog's nose.

Now that the era of digital photography is upon us, things are much different. It's funny to think that my own kids may never know that feeling of having wasted a shot!

As a medium, digital photography strikes me as being a very child friendly one. My kids seem to look for any opportunity to view the world through a video screen! Phil from Kiddley has written a good article about introducing your kids to digital photography. Kiddley also has a Flickr group where you can upload photos that your child has taken – the theme for this week is "Made it myself".

If you do any crafting this week, why not encourage your little one to take a photo of their efforts and upload it to the pool. Add the tag kidscraftweekly to your picture and I'll make sure your photo winds up in the Kids Craft Weekly Flickr gallery also!

Happy snapping and I'll see you next time.

Amber Carvan

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2. MAKE: a paper cup lion (and other animals)

Though it's not technically a jungle dweller, this cute lion was the hit craft at our place this week. Cutting the lion's head from a paper cup is a simple and satisfying craft for preschool-aged children. In fact, if you wanted you could devote your craft session to making different animal heads from paper cups. When you're finished you could stick them onto paper and draw a body around them. If you prefer the idea of creating the whole animal then read on.

You will need

• paper cups (one per animal)
cardboard rolls (one per animal)
paint and brushes
hole punch
pipecleaner (one per animal)
permanent marker


1. Paint the outside of a small paper paper cup using brown and yellow paint. Then paint the cardboard roll in the same colour.

2. Once the paint is dry, cut around the base of the paper cup about an inch from the bottom. Then cut slits around the cup and fold them up to form a mane.

3. Draw on facial features using a permanent marker.

4. Punch four holes in the cardboard roll where you want the legs to go. Cut a pipecleaner in half, then thread each half through two holes to form the front and back legs. Tape the legs securely in place on the inside of the roll.

5. Wrap wool around the cardboard roll, to give the lion some fuzz and texture. Then tape on a length of wool to form a tail.

6. Carefully glue or tape the head to the body.

NOTE: Use the same technique to make an elephant, leopard or a tiger. Simply use different coloured paint (and wool) and cut ears from the paper cup instead of a mane.

3. MAKE: a bitey box croc

The appeal of this simple box crocodile (or alligator) should not be underestimated! My two kids bickered at such length over who had rights to 'feed' the crocodile that we ended up making a second one to restore peace to the household. Consider yourself warned.

You will need

a long box (we used a toothpaste box)
paint and brushes
small foam balls (or rolled up balls of paper)
white glue
knife and scissors


1. Paint and decorate the box as you wish, then cut a mouth into the box using a knife as depicted in the image below.

2. Glue on some foam ball eyes. We also glued on some cellulose packing peanuts to form legs.

3. Add some eye balls and nostrils

4. MAKE: a fabulous jungle diorama

I'm a big fan of dioramas as they give our various crafty creations a whole new lease on life. They're popular with the kids too who love to act out various scenarios and add new things over time. In fact, the only bad thing about  dioramas is that they can be very hard to throw away!  I've been caught out on more than one occasion trying to sneak an old diorama into the recycling and believe me, it wasn't pretty!

You will need

a box
green, brown and blue paint
paint brushes
green crepe paper
drinking straws
tissue paper
• cellophane
jungle animals


1. Paint the inside of the box.

2. While you're waiting for the paint to dry you can make some simple jungle plants to put in the diorama. To make a simple vine, cut some one inch pieces of green crepe paper and spear them with a pipecleaner.

3. To make exotic jungle flowers, take a square of tissue paper (about 10 cms wide) and roll it up. Scrunch one end of the roll of paper and stuff it into the end of the straw. Then cut the roll into strips to make a flower.

4. Make a swamp or river in one part of the diorama by gluing on scrunched up balls of cellophane.

5. Arrange your jungle plants in the diorama.

6. Finally, add your jungle animals.

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5. This issue's featured subscriber's blog


"After stumbling upon the online knitting community in Spring 2004, I dove into blogging in July 2004. I was inspired by this community of women who were creating useful things with their hands and knew I wanted to be a part of it.

I've been a stay at home mom since the birth of my first child in 2001. Now I'm a mama to three and share the daily adventures with my wonderful husband. Currently we live in Louisiana, homeschool our children, and dream very big dreams."

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