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Make a lesson about mammals more informative for children with a hands-on craft. For example, kids can learn about hedgehogs by constructing their own 3-D model from basic craft materials Not only will the kids have fun, but they will be able to identify a hedgehog if they meet up with one on a hike in a temperate forest.
Pour 1 cup of white flour, 1/2 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of water into a saucepan. Heat the saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Simmer the mixture for five minutes, then allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
Cut or tear newspaper into 1-inch by 6-inch strips.
Inflate a balloon and knot the end. Tape 20 plastic drinking straws over half of the balloon using masking tape. Place the drinking straws three inches away from the hedgehog's face, at the narrow end, and only apply the straws to the hedgehog's back, leaving the belly smooth. Position the straws so that they stand upright over the balloon. Space the straws at least 1/2-inch apart.
Dip the newspaper strips into the cooled flour mixture, and drape the coated newspaper over the balloon structure. Cover the entire structure with six layers of the paper-mache strips. Place the paper-mache strips in between the straws, over the entire balloon and wrap strips around the drinking straws to cover them completely. Allow the hedgehog to dry for 12 hours.
Paint the paper-mache hedgehog to resemble a real hedgehog using acrylic paint. Apply light brown to tan paint on the underside of the hedgehog, and dark to medium brown paint on the outside and spikes. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes.
Squeeze two pea-sized dollops of tacky glue onto the hedgehog's face, and press two googly eyes into place. Allow the glue to dry for 20 minutes before displaying the hedgehog.
- Keep the hot paper-mache mixture away from children until it cools completely.
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