Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Craft for Kids: Chicken that squawks

Yes, you read that title right. This chicken that is made from a plastic cup- it squawks. I never would have thought to blog about this activity that I recently did with my daughter and niece and nephew (and we read a book about chickens to go along with the craft)-- except that Laurel told me that she had never seen one of these treasures before:

For some reason, I thought everyone must know about the chickens that you make out of plastic cups, a bit of string, and a damp sponge that actually make a squawking noise. I made my first one in first or second grade...and it is about the only thing that I remember doing in school that year. It definitely made an impression. 

So here's what you do:

Squawking Cup Chicken Craft


- Large, red, plastic cup
- Embroidery floss
- a sponge (the ones you scrub your sink with--like one of these)
- orange flannel
- googly craft eyes
- a needle or safety pin


1. Poke a hole in the center of the bottom of the cup with a needle. The hole needs to be big enough to put the embroidery floss through, but small enough that the knotted floss won't slip through it. What was the bottom of the cup, is now the top of the chicken's head.

2. Cut off about a 12-inch piece of embroidery floss, tie a knot at one end, and thread the non-knotted end through the hole that you made. The knot will be at the top of the chicken's head, and the string will hang down through the cup and extend out the open bottom of the cup (or soon to be chicken).

3. Cut a square off the sponge (the square should be about an inch wide and long). Tie the sponge to the bottom of the string that is dangling from the cup.

4. That is it really. Now you can dress the chicken up. Give it a beak (with the orange flannel) and googly eyes and whatever else you dream up. But that is all there is to it. 

Now, how to make it squawk: You put water on the sponge. Wring out any excess water--you just want it damp. Hold the cup with one hand and hold the sponge (which should be attached to the string that is dangling from the cup) with your other hand. Now using your thumb and index finger to hold the sponge, press the sponge so that it sandwiches around the string above it, and jerk it down along the string. That is what makes the chicken squawk. And the kids love it! If that doesn't make sense, You can watch an example of it here. 

 Also, here are a couple of books with chickens as central characters that you could use with the craft: The Problem With Chickens and Little Peep


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