We spent last Sunday afternoon in Great Falls, on the lawn of the C.M. Russell Museum, enjoying their free Saddles and Spurs event for kids. In an effort to help children better appreciate the western lifestyle that inspired C.M. Russell, the museum offered up a number of cowboy crafts, games, and cooking demos, and gave out free root beer floats, and popcorn. I'll admit it was the free root beer floats that drew us in, but the kids really enjoyed making paper bag vests, foam cowboy hats, and wood dowel stick horses. This is one of those annual events, that is definitely going our calendar for next year.
Of course, it was inevitable, that at least one of the horses would meet with an accident before the week was out. Quite frankly, I'm surprised one of my lamps hasn't met with a similar accident. Wood dowels aren't really good indoor, preschool toys. So, rather than repair the damaged horse, I decided to make a slightly kid/house friendlier replacement, using a cardboard wrapping paper tube, and a couple of lunch sized paper bags, for the head.
My son liked the first one I made, except that I made the mistake of giving the horse a red mouth, and eye lashes, so he thought it looked like a girl. He didn't think he should be riding a girl horse. I wasn't really sure what I was doing with the first horse, so I didn't take any pictures, but since I had to make a second one, I figured I might as well share the steps with you.
- Gather together - two small paper bags, a stick (as I said, I opted for a cardboard tube, but you could use a yardstick, broom handle, or wood dowel instead), markers, scissors, a glue stick, tape, and some scrap paper (shredded junk mail would work perfectly).
- With a marker, draw nostrils on what would normally be the bottom of one of the bags.
- Open the bag, and draw eyes on the short sides of the bag, and a curved line for the mouth coming up from the bottom corner of the short sides.
- While the second bag is still folded, cut it into strips, leaving the bottom folded part intact.
- Cut two corners from the bottom folded part. Open them up, color a little pink inside, and glue them on top of your horses heard (the wider side of the first bag), just behind the eyes.
- Unfold the strips of paper, and cut them in half.
- Fold them in half, and glue them down the back of the horses head, leaving a bit at the bottom of the bag, for the neck. You might also want to shorten, and glue on a couple between, or just in front of the ears, for a forelock.
- Fill the bag with shredded, or crumpled paper, up to the ears.
- Apply a couple of inches of glue to the top of the cardboard tube.
- Stick the tube in the bag up to the stuffing. Gather the open end of the bag around the tube, and use tape around the outside of the gather, to hold it tightly in place.
It's great to be a homeschooler.