Prehistoric shark puppets

A FINGER FULL OF FISH

make your own finger puppet

ancient fish and prehistoric sharks

 

Coelacanth stripRecently, we had you making trilobites and other ancient sea creatures as fingerpuppets. In this session, let’s add some danger to the trilobites world with some large prehistoric fish…..

 

You might enjoy

Low Ancient fish 31Dunkleosteus: 5 m long with jaws that could crush. Our limestone here in the Peaks is Carboniferous in age – about 300 million years while Dunk belongs to a slightly older time but they are so spectacular….

Coelacanth: 1m long with wonderful fins like stumpy legs – and these are still around today. You can find film of these beautiful fish on the internet with their fins that rotate and flare and move in fascinating ways….

Ancient sharks: modern sharks are often sleek, elegant swimmers (with some exciting exceptions like Wobbegongs), in ancient times, sharks were more experimental. Look at Stethacanthus with its sort of hat, Edestus with its sticking out teeth, Sarcoprion with its strange pointy jaws or Helicoprion, the buzz-saw shark.

These wonderful animals lived at many different times so do your own research to decide what might have been swimming down the street where you live 300 million years ago

To make a fingerpuppet fish or shark….

You will needLow Fish puppets 1

  • Card: old birthday cards or cereal packets work well
  • Scissors
  • Pencils or pens for drawing and colouring
  • Glue
  • Paperclips or tape or stapler – or all of these
  • Wobbly eyes maybe

 

Decide first, are you making a fish with a deep body rather than the shark with a more or less straight back

 

FishLow Fish puppets 2

  1. Fold your card in half long-ways and draw your fish on one piece of card: make your drawing as long as a finger – or more. A good measure is to try to make one as big as your hand. Leave off any paired fins – so keep on the tail and back (dorsal) and belly (ventral) fins. Cut out the fish, cutting through both pieces of card. Keep the scrap card

 

  1. Low Fish puppets 3Set your fish shapes nose to nose and decorate them

 

  1. Out of the left-over card, cut out some side fins (pectoral and pelvic) Glue these in place on your fish – just glue the “body” end of the fin. Hold in place with a staple or a paperclip

Low Fish puppets 4

  1. Fitting it all together: turn your fish over, put a bit of glue at head and tail (X) and join together. Again, hold in place with a staple or a paperclip. Make a ring out of card to fit a finger. Wiggle this gently into the middle of your fish and glue, tape or staple it into place. Generally, position the ring so that when the fish is on your finger it is pointing forward – so the ring opens backwards.
  1. Start swimming. Chase a trilobite
Eyes

experiment with drawing eyes….

Shark

  1. Low Shark 1Fold your card in half and draw half a shark body (no fins or tail) against the fold. Happy shark? Grumpy shark? Cut out the shape (DON’T cut along the fold). Open your shark flat onto your table

 

  1. Decorate your shark. Using scrap card cut a pair of pectoral fins (long ones that sit just behind the gills (remember sharks often have more than one gill slit)

Low Shark 3

  1. A curving triangle will give you a dorsal fin. Cut up the centre of the fin’s base – maybe 1 cm and open these tabs out. They can glue on the back of the shark or if you have someone who can use a craft knife around, cut a slit and fit the fin on the inside of the model

4. Fitting it all together: another bit of card might be needed to draw your sharks’ lopsided (asymmetric) tail. Cut along the fold on your shark and slide the tail into that slot. Glue and staple or paperclip in place. Fit a ring just like the fish above

When all the glue is dry, fold fins out, fit fish and sharks onto fingers and start swimming!

(Belemnites: these slender squid-like animals that swam through the limestone seas of ancient Derbyshire can be made like the sharks above, fitting some extra curly tentacles at their heads…..)

Now put your animals on your fingers and set off through your ancient seas! If you have a garden, you might go exploring (chasing ammonites? Hunting for trilobites?) Through the undersea flowerbeds of the Back Garden Ocean. Past the lair of the Terrible Worms (= compost heap), over the Muddy Wellington Boots of Despair. No garden? How about a swim across the sandy seafloor of The Bed, clamber over the Coral Reef of Cushions, slide down the Book Mountains and onto the Carpet Wastes…..

This is another of a number of posts replacing activity sessions which we have had to cancel. A Finger Full of Fish is a Creeping Toad event in conjunction with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and Stone and Water. Based in Buxton in the Peak District, we all collaborate and support each other as we can, working closely with the Babbling Vagabonds and The Green Man Gallery. If you enjoy this activity, try visiting the others for more ideas!

 

 

Fingerfulls of trilobites

FINGERFULS OF TRILOBITES

Low-Trilobites-01 copy

a rare sighting of trilobites in the River Dove in Dovedale….

This is another of a number of posts replacing activity sessions which we have had to cancel. Fingerfossils is a Creeping Toad event in conjunction with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and Stone and Water. Based in Buxton in the Peak District, we all collaborate and support each other as we can, working closely with the Babbling Vagabonds and The Green Man Gallery. If you enjoy this activity, try visiting the others for more ideas!

Low Limestone 38

garden wall limestone from Buxton

Buxton is built on, and often, of, limestone, limestone that was formed in ancient tropical seas. 300 million years ago when our stone was being made there were no dinosaurs, no pteradactyls or tyrannosaurs, no giant reptiles swimming in prehistoric seas. Those ancient seas were still full of life and Buxton Museum has a wonderful collection of fossils from Carboniferous Seas. There are ammonites and lamellibranchs, corals and crinoids and trilobites. Trilobites are quite rare in our stones but they are there and are such fascinating animals they will be our first puppets in this session

 

Making your own trilobites

Low Trilobite 1You will need:

  • Some scrap card – doesn’t need to be big but card that can fold without cracking is good
  • drawing pencil
  • Coloured pencils or pens
  • Scissors
  • A small stapler or roll of sticky tape

 

Low Trilobite 2Step 1: draw your trilobite

Fold the card in half longways and draw half a trilobite against the fold. You could use one of these photos for ideas or look up trilobite on the web -there were lots of different types: large, small, smooth, spiky, lumpy…..

Keep the card folded and cut out the trilobite

 

Low Trilobite 4Step 2: add some colour

Flatten out the card, copy your design onto the plain half and then colour it in. We don’t know what colours trilobites were. They might have been camouflaged – sandy, seaweedy, rocky colours. They might have been bright as rainbows – we don’t know. You can decide!

 

Low Trilobite 7Step 3: fitting onto fingers

Use a piece of scrap card to cut a stirp about 1cm wide and maybe 12 cm long. Roll this into a ring that will slide easily up and down a finger. Position the ring on the underside of the trilobite, about the middle, slip your stapler in and fix in place. No stapler? You could tape it in place instead, or glue it. You can always tape over staples if you worry that they might scratch your finger.

Low Trilobite 98Step 4: Trilobite adventures

Now put the trilobite on your finger and set off to tell a trilobite tale! If you have a garden, you might go exploring (add another trilobite as a friend?). Through the undersea flowerbeds of the Back Garden Ocean. Past the lair of the Terrible Worms (= compost heap), over the Muddy Wellington Boots of Despair. No garden? How about a swim across the sandy seafloor of The Bed, clamber over the Coral Reef of Cushions, slide down the Book Mountains and onto the Carpet Wastes

 

Low Trilobite 117OTHER ANIMALS

If you are looking at pictures of Carboniferous Sea Creatures, you might have a go at some others. Eurypterids might be made in the same way as trilobites but with bigger card. Some of those spectacular sharks and fishes we’ll look at in the next activity – or you could create yourself just now

 

Ammonite

Why not try an ammonite? Like an octopus in a shell – look at Nautilus on a film platform.  Nautilus have survived for hundreds of millions of years. The ammonites were their cousins – growing large (up to 2 m across) and tough, they lasted right through to the end of dinosaur days

 

Step 1: Ammonite shells

Fold card in half

Draw a shell on the card and cut out through both pieces of card so you have 2 shells.

Step 2: colour

Set the shells side by side and colour them in – make sure you lie them down as mirror images – facing each other so they make a pair

Step 3: tentacles

I used an extra piece of card to make a tentacly head (with wobbly eyes) that I rolled into my finger-tube

Step 4: fitting it all together

Then I stapled the top of the shells together and fitted them on the tentacle ring. I used two extra bits of cards to add two longer tentacles (like a squid or cuttlefish).

what story waits here….

 Enjoy! Why not send us photos of any finger-fossils you make or record their adventures on a phone and send them in?

Reach us either  at

Coming soon –

something monstrous swimming in those ancient Carboniferous Seas as we look at how to make your own prehistoric sharks and fabulous finned fishes

 

Castles, towers, adventures….

Storycastles

build a place where adventures might happen….

Giant worlds strip

Build a castle, build a tower, build a landscape

where adventures might happen….

This is one of a number of posts replacing activity sessions which we have had to cancel. Storycastles is a Creeping Toad event in conjunction with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and Stone and Water. Based in Buxton in the Peak District, we all collaborate and support each other as we can, working closely with the Babbling Vagabonds and The Green Man Gallery. If you enjoy this activity, try visiting the others for more ideas!

Now, flex those imagination muscles, exercise your scissor fingers and your colouring thumbs and join us to build a castle, build a tower,build a landscape where adventures might happen….

 

Low Storycastles 1You will need

  • A piece of cardboard: A4 or A3 white is best but this will work with cereal packet card as well or anything that you can cut and roll without it cracking
  • A piece of stiff card as a base
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Felt pens or colouring pencils
  • Sharp scissors
  • Small ball of modelling clay
  • PVA glue
  • Masking tape
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • A magazine with pictures to cut out, or tissue paper or wrapping paper
  • Barbecue skewers (one for each puppet character you want)

Low Storycastles 2Step 1. Getting ready

Use the ruler to draw a line maybe 2cm in from one of the long sides of the card (line 1). Take the rule in another 3 or 4 cm and draw another line (Line 2)

 

 

Step 2. Drawing the castle

Low Storycastles 3iAbove Line 2 draw your castle: think of it as a castle unfolded so work your way right across the card. There might be towers and battlements, and another tower, and a hole made by a cannonball. There might be arched windows, a door, arrow slits. Use Line 2 as a guide and don’t draw the top of your building further down than that line. If you do, you might weaken the whole castle. Don’t draw below line 1 – that will be used for something else

(We’re writing as if you are making a castle. You don’t need to: you could make a palace, a strange wizard’s house, a mountain, a forest. The same techniques work for all of these!)

Step 3. Cutting out and colouring

Cut out the castle. Cutting out windows: you might recruit a grown up with a craft knife and a cutting mat, or if you sit your castle shape so the window you want to cut out is on top of that lump of modelling clay, you can safely push the pencil through the card and into the clay. Give the pencil a wiggle. This should give you a big enough hole to slide some small scissors in and then you can cut out the window yourself.

Colour the castle in: completely? Or just draw in stones and ivy and decoration? Up to you!

All done? No! add a little bit more! How about some glitter?

 

Step 4: all decorated and looking wonderful?

Now cut tabs along the lower edge of the castle, cutting up to Line 1. Do your cuts about 2 cm apart

Run some glue along one side of the castle, then roll the other side round so they just overlap. Carefully press into place. Maybe use a bit of masking tape to hold it together while the glue dries or staple it if you have a staple. Carefully, fold the tabs out so that your castle will stand on the table with its tabs spread out like little feet

Step 5. Stand that castle up!

Turn your castle upside down and put a small squidge of glue on each tab. Gently stand on the castle on the tough card. You might need to adjust things a bit so that it stands straight and proud. Then press the tabs down. More masking tape will hold them in place while the glue dries. Now, rather than having a castle standing in a muddy cardboard square, decorate the castle surround with scrap paper or torn up magazine pictures or whatever (we sometimes use green sponges for bushes, grey ones for stone). There might need to be a paper moat) draw your own crocodiles or piranha perhaps). Step back and admire! You have a castle!

Characters

Having a castle means you might need a story to tell. Use some of your left-over card (or find some more) to draw someone to send on an adventure. Stick them onto a barbecue skewer (if it is very sharp, you could snip the point off with a pair of scissors so it is less likely to stick in someone!)

 

Giant worlds strip

We made an adventurous explorer. We added a dragon. Because this is an Easter activity this year, we thought our hero should go on a quest….They met a dragon. They found a treasure chest. A chest full of eggs! But are they chocolate eggs? Or do the hero and the dragon incubate the eggs to see who hatches out of them….

Low Storycastles 14

 

If you want some help with characters, there is a pdf attached that you should be able to print out of explorer children and some castle people

Story characters

Low Story towers

 

 

 

Make, take, play, laugh…spring activities coming up

Time To Make And Draw

activities for a strange Spring

make your own fingermouse

With all our planned events for the next few weeks cancelled, we are planning on posting some d-i-y activities to help keep your creativity going at home. To do this, we’re teaming up with Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Creeping Toad, the Babbling Vagabonds and the Green Man Gallery so that between us there will be something for you to experiment with every few days (I am reluctant to say “every day”). On this blog we’ll psot liks to other people’s activites as they appear as well as posting our own activities so keep an eye on things here as  launching-off point to flap your wings and fly off to other people’s sites

If you make anything inspried by one of these sessions, we’d love to see (or hear) your results so maybe send us a picture – either through facebook (find us at https://www.facebook.com/stoneandwater/) or email us at stoneandwater@btinternet.com

And for today, why not try:

Creeping Toad’s A Fingerful of Animals

or

Babbling Vagabonds wobble monster

or

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery’s underwater colouring sheet

add some extra kelp to the museum sheet perhaps – or draw your own?