Kids enjoy learning about far-off places, especially when there are unusual forms of wildlife involved. Australia is a land rich with its own animal population and intriguing human culture. Arts and crafts projects which celebrate the people and animals of Australia can make the study of this continent come to life. Kids will learn about Australia while creating dot art, making a didgeridoo or designing an outback rainstick.
Aboriginal people in Australia incorporated dots into their art. They used paints made from nature and sticks or animal quills to do the painting. The sticks or animal quills imprinted the dots onto the objects they were decorating. Students creating dot art should start with a smooth rock or a piece of paper, some neutral-coloured paint and a stick. The students can start by painting the rock or paper’s surface completely and can include an animal outline in the painting. After this paint has dried, they can add dots to the picture using the stick. The teacher can hang posters of koalas, kangaroos or platypuses around the room to inspire the children.
The aboriginal people created musical instruments using the branches of eucalyptus trees. The branches had been hollowed out by termites and created a sound when blown through. Children can make their own Australian instruments using empty wrapping paper tubes. Each child should paint their paper tubes using earth-tone colours and a variety of patterns. They can incorporate dots in the patterns as well. Once the paint is dry, the children can blow through one end of the instrument making musical sounds.
An outback rainstick is easy to assemble and uses items that are commonly available. The children can start the project with an empty paper towel tube. They can take paper scraps and glue them over the hole at one end of the tube. The children can dump some beans inside the tube and glue some paper scraps over the other end of the tube. After the glue has dried, the children can decorate the outside of their rainstick using stickers, foam dots or markers. Once the rainstick is finished, all they need to do is shake it.
Students can create their own Australian wildlife landscape. To set the mood, the teacher can hang posters featuring different Australian animals around the room. Each student should start with an empty shoebox. Inside the shoebox, students can draw or paint trees and plants to represent the Australian forest. On separate pieces of paper, the students can draw several animals they see posted around the room and cut them out. The students should poke holes through the top wall of the box and through each of the animals they created. The students should tie a string through the hole in one animal and tie it through one hole in the top wall of the box. Kids can continue tying the strings through the animals and the holes until all of the animals are hanging inside the box.
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