Young children may be homesick and nervous on the first day of preschool or kindergarten. Reassure them by reading "Llama Llama Misses Mama" by Anna Dewdney, in which Llama Llama's classmates make him feel better by showing him how fun school can be. Reinforce the book's message by making a llama mask or a craft stick llama. Older elementary school kids can explore the creative side of a unit on South America by making papier-mâché or clay llamas.
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Craft Stick Llama
Teachers can preassemble llama bodies from seven craft sticks so that young children only need to add the fur. Use one craft stick for the body, one for the neck and one shaped into a V to form the triangle for the head. Use four craft sticks for the legs. Instruct each child to apply glue to the llama body and then wrap it in black worsted yarn. Next the kids apply glue to the yarn and then wrap black fun fur around it. Finally they follow the same two-step process to wrap white worsted yarn and fun fur around the legs.
Draw or cut out a llama face template such as the one in the Resources section. Cut out the blacks of the eyes. Colour in the white eye area and perhaps apply gold glitter to the mask. Punch a hole on both sides of the mask. Knot a piece of string around each hole and then tie the strings together in the back to fit the wearer's head.
Older elementary school students can craft papier-mâché llamas in a day, plus drying time. After making a llama's body similar to the one for crack stick llamas, apply the papier-mâché to the body and allow it to dry overnight. Make fur from fiberfill that has been fluffed and teased and glue it to the llama. Use black tempera paint for facial details and to mark off the hooves. Make reins and a blanket using colourful yarn, string and tassels. Add burlap saddlebags for a finishing touch.
Older students can sculpt a clay llama using pictures of llamas as models. For a more authentic sculpture, you may be able to find llama fur from a local breeder that you could apply to the figure. Apply the fleece to the sculpture after the clay has slightly hardened but before it is totally dry. Paint on facial features and details such as hooves.
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