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A Very Hairy Caterpillar
The Paradis Garden Club, in Paradise, CA helped more than 200 kids (of all ages) create a little "hairy" friend during the Heritage Days celebration at the Gold Nugget Museum in September, 2011. With the help of volunteers from the club, kids fashioned little creatures out of stockings, soil and grass seed.
Here is how they did it:
Step 1: Collect the materials you will need for each caterpillar as displayed in Picture 2
- small scrunchies or rubber bands to divide the body sections of the caterpillar
- half of a knee-high stocking or a cut-off potion of a full stocking about 5-inches long that will form the body
- a bobby pin pulled apart to form a "V" with a googly eye glued to each open end to use for eyes
- 2-inch length of pipe cleaners with small pom-poms glued on the ends to use for antennae
- about 3 cups of potting soil
- about 3 tablespoons of quick-grass.... A mixture of primarily rye grass sprouts the quickest.
- a small yogurt or similar container with the bottom cut out to use as a funnel.
Step 2: Mix the potting soil and seeds together. Pour about 1 cup of the soil/grass mixture into the stocking. See Picture 3.
You can use less, say 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of the soil/grass mixture depending on how large you want the caterpillar to be and how many you want to make! If you have time, you can soak the grass seed overnight before you assemble your caterpillar. This will get the germination process started and make growing easier for the kids.
Step 4: As in Picture 4, tie off the first section of the caterpillar body with a ponytail scrunchie or a rubber band. In a pinch you can use twist-ems from baggies or anything else you can find to keep the body dections separate.
Step 5: Tie off the other body sections. You can make as many or as few as you please. Paradise Garden Club did only three because they were helping hundred of children during the celebration. See Picture 5. If you make the sections small, you can make as many as the stocking length will allow.
Step 6: Stick the bobby pin with the eyes into the head and insert an antennae behind each eye as in Picture 7.
And there he (or she) is! Drench the caterpillar in water. Put it in the sun and keep it evenly moist until it starts to grow. Remember it is just grass. It will grow like a lawn.
The folks in Paradise displayed their creatures on a photo of grass, laminated to protect the picture from dirt and water.
The Disney FamilyFun website has very good instructions if you need more information. Check out their many other craft projects. You can keep busy all year long!