A tepee is a type of tent that was used by Native Americans. It stands tall and is supported by long tree limbs. The tree limbs are then covered in animal skin to protect its inhabitants from the elements and animals. Making a homemade tepee out of construction paper is not only entertaining, but it is also a learning process. It can teach children how Native Americans lived and housed their tribes.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 4 straight foot-long twigs
- Rubber bands
- Small piece of construction paper for template
- Large piece of construction paper
- Crayons or markers
Line the four straight twigs up so they are standing together in a bundle. Tie them together using the rubber band, but not too tightly. When locating the rubber band on the twigs, leave about 3 inches of twig between the rubber band and the top of the twigs.
Pull each twig outward to form a tepee-shaped tent. Make sure the twigs stay in the rubber band hold. If the twigs slide inward again, consider loosening the rubber band.
Lay the tepee structure down on the small piece of construction paper while the twigs are still spread out. Trace the outline of the twig-structure so it mirrors a large triangle.
Cut out the triangle using scissors. This is now the tepee template.
Place the tepee template on the large piece of construction paper. Trace the outline of the triangular template. When done, lay the template next to what you've just traced so their sides line up. Trace another triangular shape. Repeat this step twice, so there are four triangles attached to one another, forming a polygon.
Cut out the polygon along the outside border, so all of them are still attached to one another. Draw a horseshoe shape on one of the triangles, starting from the side that is not attached to something. This will be the door to the tepee.
Decorate the tepee with markers or crayons before attaching it to the twigs.
Fold the construction paper where the lines have been drawn. Unfold them and line up the sides that are not attached to create the shape of a tepee. Connect the sides with tape.
Cut off the top of the tepee, as the twigs will come through the top. Original tepees also had holes at the top to let out smoke.
Slide the construction paper tepee down onto the twig structure. Turn the tepee upside down and apply a piece of tape per twig, connecting it to each side of the construction paper folds. Turn the tepee right side up and enjoy.
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