Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Week of Projects: Part One


It's that time of life again:  The First Grade African Studies Program.... our third.  Each first grade class in our town studies Africa in school and then each child does a research / craft project at home on a different African Animal.  Henry did his project on the hippopotamus, Georgia researched the giraffe and Josie was assigned the African Buffalo.  


Henry used clay to make his hippo and Georgia (aided by Gordy) used paper mache, pencils and Styrofoam balls to make her giraffe and neither project was terribly successful.  We've done enough school projects now that I wanted to avoid the entire aisle of Model Magic at the craft store.  I proposed that Josie make a stuffed-animal buffalo and she (luckily) agreed.

We went to the craft store and bought shaggy brown fur fabric, stuffing, long needles, thread and googly eyes.  I also bought a pair of chocolate colored pantyhose from the pharmacy for the horns.



I made a paper pattern of the buffalo shape.  To keep the sewing simple, I made the buffalo 2D:


After I pinned the pattern onto the doubled, inside-out fabric, Josie cut out the shape:




I drew a chalk (and when that didn't really work, a sharpie-) line for Josie to follow when she sewed:


We threaded the needle and Josie got to work:




The sewing took a loooonnnngggg time.  I finally had to take over.  I would say that I did a little more than half, but I think that's pretty good for a seven year old, particularly considering that I made her do all the rest of the work on her own.

After we finished sewing, I showed Josie how to turn the buffalo right-side out and she began to stuff:



Josie enjoyed the stuffing process:


It's a little hard to see, but here is what Josie's buffalo looked like after it was sewed and stuffed:


Josie was very excited and did a few cartwheels to celebrate:



Next, we found two wire hangers to use as support in the horns:


We stuffed the pantyhose, put a wire hanger piece into each one and I sewed the entire thing to the buffalo's head.  


Next, Josie glued on the eyes:


So cute, right?


He only has two legs (thus the 2D body) but his head is 3D... that's something.

This project made me wish I had a sewing machine because that would have made the sewing part a whole lot easier, but the hand-sewing worked, too.

Josie will still have to do a little research on her animal and learn about where it lives, what it eats and how it spends it's day.  This is a full week of school projects for our children.  Henry has two - one for English class, the other for Social Studies.  Georgia has a research project on Alexander Graham Bell.  We have a little over a month left of school, so it makes sense that it's time for all the projects.  

One down -- and it's it's definitely our best African Animal Project yet!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Adorable!

Martha said...

Josie says Thank You!

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