story + art = great stART – Giraffe’s can’t dance

 This week’s book & craft has been “brewing” for a while…  I am not sure why haven’t done it sooner, maybe I thought Red Ted was still too young. Well, he is in terms of  crafting, but he isn’t in terms of painting, sticking, helping and of course PLAYING! So, we embraced the craft – a great one for children 5yrs+ or with a helping adult!!! Red Ted loves the resulting marionettes!!! Without a further a do… 

The story. 

Giraffes Can't Dance Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, by Giles Andreae. Early this week, I already reviewed “Giraffe’s Can’t Dance”. Here we have it again: I have to confess to picking this book up, because I like the “format”. Our version is a smallish board book. I also liked the rhythm and rhyme of the book and Red Ted liked the bright colours. Here we have the story of a Gerald the giraffe that is, well, a little clumsy on his feet. Each year the jungle holds a jungle dance and Gerald feels left out has he is so “rubbish”. Sadly he wanders off… however, a small cricket helps him discover his “inner self”. A lesson: we are all good at something, as long as we find the right way for us. Hurray! Happy Ending. 

Today we are going to make Gerald! The materials are very simple! 

1) Materials: 2 loo rolls per Giraffe, 1-2 sheets of A4 in contrasting colours (red & yellow in our case), paints (red & yellow, I prefer acrylics as they don’t get so dry and crumble like some poster paints), brushes, scissors, glue and later chopsticks and string (not shown in photo, as only decided to add these later) 

2) Paint two loo rolls yellow. Red Ted decided he “wanted” red, so I decided to make 2 giraffes with him. So we painted another 2 loo rolls red. I helped him, as he was getting a little tired! 

3) We then dabbed on some spots in the contrasting colour with cotton wool. I think lots  of paint gives it nice “texture”. 

4) Let it dry. 

Start on the legs. 

5) I didn’t have yellow paper, so I quickly “made” some with cotton wool and watered down paint… Just means you have to wait for it to dry. I only did one side. Don’t think it matters if one side is white and the other yellow. If your children have a longer attention span, they can help with this too! 

6) Cut the paper in to even strips. I made mine about 1cm wide and used a ruler to help me (marked one sheet, but cut four sheets in one go). The neater and more even you cut, the better! 

7) The “tricky bit”: Take one yellow and one red strip. It is kind of like pleating the two pieces of paper. Glue down the first two bits and then alternately fold over. Once you get to the end of the paper, I glued on another strip.  So each leg and neck is made of 2 yellow strips and 2 red strips of paper. Glue top down. 

8) Make 5 for each giraffe (so we made 10 – got a little boring, I admit). Whilst I folded. Red Ted did some play gluing and play folding with extra strips of paper! I also made 2 smaller sets (about 1/2cm wide) in one colour for the horns and cut out some “ears”. 

9) Cut down one loo roll for head (about 2/3rds) 

10) Glue legs and neck on. I used cloth pegs to keep them in place whilst drying. 

11) Glue on horns, ears and draw eyes/ stick on googly eyes 



I found at this point that the giraffes were finished, but no so  easy to play with, as the neck kept flopping about. So I decided to make marionettes out of them – I used some take away chopsticks (but lollipop sticks will do) and garden string! 


We then revisited the story at bedtime. Red Ted was delighted! And the Gerald and Geraldine have indeed been doing LOTS of dancing!

And here, erm, we had some fun. Sorry for the lack of editing… and the poncy music! Ha!

I have summited this to Visit

Previous Craft Projects

stART: Chick – a Pop Up Card

Book & Cook: Alphabet Cookies – Learning through play

stART: Busy Airport – Cotton Wool Clouds and, erm, PIGS!

stART: Hit &Myth – a mix & match book for older children (>5yrs)    

stART: Story & Thank you time – inspirational thank you cards   

stART: Hurray for Fish – one for babies or messy toddlers!    

stART: Bedtime Star – Red Ted, makes a starry night for Pip Squeak’s nursery   

stART: The Way Back Home, Oliver Jeffers – Red Ted makes a plane and a UFO   

Craft: Peg animals – toddlers can help!


36 responses to this post.

  1. This is a really cool idea. I love it


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on May 26, 2010 at 8:06 am

      Thank you 😉 we certainly had fun with them…. wonder how long they will “Live” – but then we can make somem more..


  2. Looking forward to when my little one is old enough to do things like this – looks fun!


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on May 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

      😉 I will be making them again when Red Ted is 5+. but dont underestimate th 2yrs olds now.. he LOVED the painting and watching me fold, whilst he glued… he feels really proud of “his” giraffes!!! Go on.. do it “earlier” than you think you can!!!!


      • Posted by Vicci on May 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm

        Lové to Know what he glued. Bet hé had fun though, can you do goats next?

      • Posted by Red Ted Art on May 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm

        Send me a good book on goats (can be french too!!!) and we can give it a go 😉 xx

  3. This is so cool!!! I can’t wait to see if my library has this book and make this project with Emily. I will totally be making my own too!!

    Thank you for sharing and linking up to stART 🙂


  4. This is adorable! I love it! Kudos to you for attempting a rather complicated activity with such a little one, too. 🙂

    That book looks really cute, too. I haven’t run across it at any of our libraries.

    Thanks for linking up to Read Aloud Thursday!


  5. Those giraffes are awesome. We also enjoyed this book a lot.


  6. We love that book. I love how you did the craft. They turned out so cute!


  7. Ooooh, I love the giraffes that you made. What a perfect storytelling prop. I remember learning how to make those “pleats” in step #7 when I was a little girl. I used to use them to make my own pop-out cards.


  8. Posted by JDaniel4's Mom on May 27, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    These are the best. I loved seeing them in action.


  9. Wow what a great idea….and it came out so nicely. Love it! Dropping by via stART!


  10. LOVE this! Way too cute. It is nice when they’re a little older – you have a whole new world of crafting opened up to you. But you’re right – they joy of playing with the craft is fun at any age. 🙂


  11. Love those folded legs. They look like a lot of fun to play with.


  12. adorable! I’m going to tuck this away until my guy is a little older – but looks like tons of fun!


  13. […] stART: Giraffe’s can’t dance – a Giraffe Loo Roll Marionette […]


  14. So cute! You’ve got mad craft skills!

    Visiting from WFMW


  15. Oh please, is so, so cute!! thanks a lot for joining to my blog party! (now the theme is “laundry”)

    Hugs from Spain

    meni ^-^


  16. Awww! So cute and sounds like a great bookl I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for linking up!


  17. Such a great art project, thanks for sharing!


  18. Love the book and your fabulous giraffes…of course they can dance!


  19. Genius- and so cute!


  20. That is soooooo sweet! My son will love that! Thanks for linking up to gettin ‘crafty on hump day 🙂


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on June 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      OOh, would be fabulous if you made one with your son! Go on, you know you want to!! Thanks for hosting!


  21. Wow, thats incredible! I love it, but might feel the same way about Laci being too young, plus her attention span is super short. I will have to keep this in mind. As always, thank you for linking (BTW- I took care of the links on Wednesday’s post for you). ~Julie


  22. Oh I adore this project. It is going in my style file for sure!


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on July 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      Oooh, fabulous! Do hope you get to make some some day!!! Red Ted loves playing with his…


  23. That is way, way beyond cute!!


  24. Very cute! Thanks for linking up to Finished for Friday!


  25. What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing @ Anything Related!


  26. Once again. Such a cute idea!


  27. Thanks for posting this! We did this craft and my kids just loved it. You can see pictures here:


  28. […] stART: Giraffe’s can’t dance – a Giraffe Loo Roll Marionette  […]


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