Shelf sitters are so cute, and the handprints and googly-eyes were a nice add. But things like that don't excite my boys; my love of crafts has only partially filtered to the next generation. Their art has to either (1) do something or (2) be seen by their grandparents, who will surely throw Zebra cakes and toys at their stunning work.
So what else to do but to make that eagle fly?
You will need, at a minimum:
paper or paint to cover the roll
paper for the wings, and
Started out with the basic idea, paper rolls with printer paper for the wings. When I dug through the craft paper for brown paper, I found none, so the bird became red, white, and blue with red construction paper for the body and American flag printer paper from SmArt.
A small cup of Elmer's glue and a paintbrush kept this project humming. I painted a strip down the tube, began rolling the red paper around it, then gave the inside of the paper a coat of glue before finishing the roll. A few pieces of tape held it in place so I could keep working before the glue dried, and it added some strength, since these eagles will get a workout. My lawyer self also likes to take extra precautions.
At this point in the project, I noticed that, if one added the dowel, this would look like a huge bottle rocket that would be excellent for a centerpiece for a Fourth of July or New Year's celebration.
Got the handprints from the kiddos, then drew a head freehand on my paper. I made three heads at once by stacking the paper (my niece will get one if she'd like), and I made sure while cutting the heads and wings to leave a strip at the base to spread glue on. The heads were glued to the inside, and the wings were glued and taped to the back seam of the body.
Although I had no trouble getting the boys' handprints, no one was up for helping me decorate their bird. I was on my own, "Little Red Hen" style- so my fuzzy specialty yarn came out. It made for awesome tail feathers to swing around when the eagles take off!
To finish off with the tail feathers, I made a thin tassel by wrapping the yarn around my outstretched thumb and forefinger, knotting one end, then cutting the loops of the other.
The dowels were painted with glue and placed on the inside of the rolls, then each piece was set aside to dry. Before I picked them up, a piece of packing tape was placed inside to further secure the dowel. I wouldn't have worried about hot glue or industrial-strength glue, but Elmer's by itself wouldn't have made it far.
The finished product! It's been tested, and it's a hit. We had them catch fish and turtles for dinner, and they stuck it out like we did on the couch/nest when storms came through.
This project will extend easily past July 4th, and it could be augmented to create other birds by adding different colors of paper and yarn. It's better than a Roman candle and just as festive. And maybe the boys will help next time!
For more eagles, check out one of the eagle cameras around the country. My favorite is the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam - in my experience, the season here is a bit calmer than other locations. The nest camera is down right now, but I'm sure they'll get it running before the next season's eggs are laid.
The little ones have fledged, but here's a list of the American Eagle Foundation's cams.