Rattlesnakes seems to be a theme for this road trip. We are constantly reminded that we share their habitat. One of the activities I planned for my grandchildren while I am visiting in Albuquerque was a visit to the American International Rattlesnake Museum in Old Town Albuquerque.
The Museum is on the smallish size but that was perfect as my grandchildren are five and seven. But WOW! It isfilled with snakes. We spent a little over an hour there looking at all the displays and watching some of the videos. While we were there it was feeding time for the alligator turtle. Lunch for him was a few goldfish. He actually managed to catch one while the children were watching. We were sad that we could not get to see the snakes feeding. The museum’s staff feeds the snakes after museum hours.
I don’t get to spend as much time with my son’s family because we live 1,130 miles apart. While I was working it was about once a year. I try to make the visit as memorable as possible. I wanted them to be able to have something to look at and remember the time with G-ma. A nice tie-in to the museum and an easy, fun project for children is to recycle a men’s tie into a rattlesnake. Here is how to.
Here is a list of the simple supplies needed for this project:
A man’s tie (a polyester tie works better than silk)
Polyfill craft stuffing or craft beads
Locktight cat or reptile eyes (buttons can also be used if the children are old enough and choking is not an issue)
Tiny red felt scrap remnant
Blunt object (we used both a butter knife, chop stick, or a ruler)
Step one: Chose how long you want your snake to be. I used a seam ripper to take off the piece that was added on to the narrow end. I wanted less for the children to stuff but you can leave this on if you choose.
Step two: Use fabric glue to be sure that the seam down the middle of the tie is securely closed.
Step three: On the wide end of the tie which is the head of the snake lift up the interior lining and the buckrum so that you are working only with the focus fabric of the tie. Decide where you want the placement of the eyes. Mark both eyes and make small holes with the seam ripper where the placement is to be. Insert the eyes in the holes and complete the attachment. Cut a forked tongue from the felt and stitch it to the outside of the tie with a couple of hand stitches.
Step four: Close off the bottom of tail of the snake. You will need to cut the buckrum about an 1 shorter than the outside of the tie. Then turn up the end about a quarter inch and then again a quarter of an inch to hide the raw edge. (If you are working with a small child and poly fiberfill you might want to skip this until the snake is stuffed. It is easier to stuff form both ends with the fiber fill.)
Step five: Stuff the snake. It is easiest for the child to stuff the small amounts of stuffing from the larger opening at the head. The stuffing goes between the buckrum and the focus fabric. Check the long seam down the middle to be sure that you have glued it tightly. Stuffing between the buckrum and focus fabric gives it added protection. It is not a big deal with the fiber fill but we do not want those craft beads to get loose. If you skipped step four now is the time to go back and complete it.
Step seven: Once the snake is stuffed sew the head closed or glue the head closed.
So proud of their complete snakes
This was a fun project and, I hope, a lifelong memory for my grandchildren.