We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare, but our little turtle friends are often a bit more shy than the old tale suggests. Sometimes little turtles would rather hide out in their shells than come out to play! Here, kids can make their very own shy little turtle using a plastic cup, tube sock, and wooden dowel. Mr. Turtle hides in his shell until kids coax him out with a gentle poke.
What You Do:
- Begin by cutting a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup and helping your child guide the wooden dowel through the hole until the dowel is poking out of both ends.
- Ask your child to fill the tip of the toe of the tube sock with stuffing. Help him round the toe into a ball-shape (this will be the turtle's head).
- Ask your child to fit the sock over the portion of the dowel that is sticking out of the top of the cup. Feed the dowel all the way to the tip of the toe and through the stuffing.
- Assist your child in then tying the string tightly just below the bunched ball of stuffing and around the dowel. This should create a round head for the turtle.
- Now, invite your child to pull the tube sock over the cup and then over the portion of the dowel sticking out of the bottom of the cup. Make sure that the dowel's length is such that it allows the portion sticking up above the rim of the cup to be about three or four inches, and the part below the cup to be another three or four inches.
- Help your child tie a knot at the end of the sock behind the end of the dowel out the bottom of the cup and trim off any extra fabric.
- Ask your child to cut a rectangle out of dark green felt that will make up the turtle's shell. Help him wrap the felt around the outside of the cup (even as it is still covered by the sock) and glue the felt in place. Now there is a turtle's head and tail sticking out from a shell.
- Invite your child to cut out felt eyes to add to the turtle's face. Let him decide what kind of expression the turtle should have, and then cut out other features, such as a mouth and nose. Have him glue these onto the turtle's face.
- Let the glue dry and the turtle is complete! Demonstrate to your child that by pulling the tail end of the dowel, the shy turtle's head will disappear into his shell; by pushing upward on the dowel, he can make the turtle reappear!
Your child will have a blast surprising family and friends with his magic turtle friend who only makes an appearance at his choosing!