Turtle Crafts


The balloon turtle is just one of our turtle crafts.
The balloon turtle is just one of our turtle crafts.

Whether or not you've got a turtle at home, you can still have fun with turtles when you participate in our turtle crafts.

Turtles are some of the oldest reptiles living on the planet. In fact, some turtle species have been around for 200 million years. There are turtles that live both on the land and in the sea, and they are famous for their hard shells.

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Balloon Turtle

Learn how to create your very own turtle out of a balloon and objects you'll find around the house. Have fun painting your turtle in your own design.

Terrific Turtles

Find out how to make your own little turtle friends out of rocks from your yard. Get creative when you decorate these little turtles.

Turtle Tails

This turtle craft ends in a really fun game that's great for sleep-overs and birthday parties. Get ready to have a good time!

Ready to get started? Go to the next page to learn how to make a balloon turtle.

Find more fun activities and craft ideas on the following pages:

Balloon Turtle

Dip the strips in paste and cover the balloon.
Dip the strips in paste and cover the balloon.

In the first turtle craft, you will learn how to make a balloon turtle using a balloon and papier-mâché.

What You'll Need:

Balloon

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Newspaper, comic strip, and plain paper strips (3 to 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide)

Paste made with half white flour and half warm water

Cardboard

Acrylic paint: light green, dark green, red, white, and black (or choose your own colors)

Scissors

Medium-size bowl

Masking tape

Paintbrush

Paper plate

Optional: acrylic varnish (gloss medium)

1. Blow up the balloon and tie it securely. Dip strips of newspaper into the paste and place them all over the balloon until it is completely covered. Set the balloon aside to dry overnight. (Each day you will need to make new paste for your paper strips.)

2. Crumple newspaper into a ball the size of a walnut. Wrap another piece of paper around the ball and gather the ends to make a round turtle head with a neck. Cover this with newspaper strips dipped in paste. Let dry. The next day, cover the balloon and the paper head with a layer of comic strip paper strips. Let dry completely.

3. Cut the paper shell in half. Sketch 4 feet and a tail onto the cardboard. Cut out. Use masking tape to attach them to the shell. Cut an opening at the front of the shell to stick in the turtle's neck. Tape it in place. Cover everything with one more layer of plain paper strips. Wrap paper strips around the feet. Use strips to securely attach the feet, tail, and head. Let dry for 1 or 2 days.

Get creative when you paint your turtle.
Get creative when you paint your turtle.

4. Paint your turtle! We painted a polka-dot shell on ours. After the colors are dry, add a coat of varnish if you wish.

For our next turtle craft, you will learn to make terrific turtles. Find out how on the next page.

Find more fun activities and craft ideas on the following pages:

Terrific Turtles

Create a unique design for your new turtle friend.
Create a unique design for your new turtle friend.

Turtles have been around since the days when dinosaurs walked the earth -- millions of years ago. In our next turtle activity, you will learn how to make your own terrific turtle.

What You'll Need:

Rock

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Small pebbles

Stone

Craft glue

Paint

Do you know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? A turtle refers to all shelled reptiles, but a tortoise is a type of turtle that lives entirely on the land. Turtles come in all sizes. Some can grow as big as 1,200 pounds and live as long as 100 years.

To create your turtle, begin with a medium-size rock. This will be your turtle's body and shell. Then find four similar-size pebbles to use for the feet. Glue the pebbles onto your rock using strong glue, leaving room at one end for the head. Now find a stone slightly larger than the feet to be your turtle's head, and glue it in place. Let the glue dry.

Once the glue dries, it's time to decorate your pet. Paint a face, and then decide what kind of design you want your turtle's shell to have. Many turtles have lovely, colorful designs on their shells. (You can look in a reference book to see some examples.) Or you can come up with your own design. Maybe you want a spiral or checkerboard pattern on your turtle's shell.

Our last turtle craft, turtle tails, is both a creative exercise and a fun game. Read about it on the next page.

Find more fun activities and craft ideas on the following pages:

Turtle Tails

After decorating your boxes, play the turtle tails game.
After decorating your boxes, play the turtle tails game.

When you're playing turtle tails, don't pull your head in and hide. Make believe you're a turtle for a box full of fun!

What You'll Need:

Green colored paper

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Masking tape

Oversize cardboard boxes

Tempera or watercolor paints

Paintbrush

If you'd like, decorate the outside of the cardboard boxes to look like turtle shells. Make long strips of green paper to resemble turtle tails. Use tape to fasten the paper tail to your pants, and crawl inside the cardboard shell.

As you wander around the room on all fours wearing your turtle goods, try to snag the other players' paper tails. The last turtle left with a paper tail of their own wins the game. But remember, no dropping your shell to make tail snagging easier, or you're out of the game.

Find more fun activities and craft ideas on the following pages:

ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS

Balloon Turtle by Sharon Broutzas, Rice Freeman-Zachery, Connie Matricardi, Susan Milord, Lynnette Shuepbach, Kim Solga, and Florence Temko