Button Boy loves to put on puppet shows behind our living room chairs with handmade puppets. We have tried making a couple different versions with lost socks and paper bags. We even made the whole cast of Yo Gabba Gabba with popsicle sticks. We were looking for a puppet that was a little out of the ordinary and found the Folding Crocodile in Creative Crafts for Kids published by Hamlyn. The crocodile reminds me of the large dragons used during Chinese New Year parades. I loved the vibrantly colored photographs of the finished projects in this book. They made me want to try everything. The instructions are a tad confusing if you happen to live in the US like myself. The book was printed in the UK and they use different words for materials than we do, such as hook and loop spot fasteners are what I would call Velcro and joggle eyes are googly eyes.
So basically you draw the outline of a elongated crocodile, with zigzags along the top, on a long sheet of craft paper. Three horizontal stripes run along the body of the animal up to the head with big bulging eyes, flared nostril and zigzag mouth. Button Boy colored in the body with blue, green and brown crayons. I let him cut out the bottom of the crocodile and helped cut out the zigzags at the top – even though it would have been good practice for him. We then folded the crocodile accordion style. I showed Button Boy how to do the first couple of folds and he finished it up. He glued the popsicle sticks to the back and added Scotch tape so he could play with the puppet immediately. The whole project took us about an hour, while he played with it for another half hour. The puppet is not incredibly sturdy. He already has a tear near the head – which leads me to believe that he really enjoyed this craft. He is already making plans to try the Funny Frog Card from the same book.