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This paper chain snake craft is based on two exotic-looking species of python which live in Australia’s tropical Daintree Rainforest.
The yellow patterned snake (named Pretzel by my daughter) is a Jungle Carpet python, and the green spotted snake is a beautiful Green Tree python.
If you’ve never seen one of these snakes in real life they are stunning to look at with the brightest green colouring – perfect for blending into the lush green foliage of the Daintree for camouflage.
When we travelled to the Daintree Rainforest last year I was secretly hoping to come across one of these snakes in the wild. If I had, I could have taken a photo to show you.
Sadly it wasn’t to be, snakes are very good at hiding but I’m sure they were out there!
I did manage to find a photograph of each of them from a stock library so you can see the real deal.
You might also like our paper plate Cassowary
Growing up in a country with 140 species of snakes, 100 of them being venomous, has given me a healthy respect for these creatures.
I’m not afraid of them because every time I’ve seen a snake in the wild it’s been either slithering away to hide or sun baking happily on a rock and minding it’s own business.
They really don’t deserve their bad reputation at all. A snake will only harm you if you accidentally tread on it or provoke it in some way.
The majority (if not all) of the snakes I’ve seen being passed around to hold and touch at wildlife parks and petting zoos have been pythons of some kind because they are non-venomous. You could even say they’re friendly.
Here are some fun python facts to talk to the kids about whilst you make the craft.
Cool Python facts for kids
- There are 41 known species of python snakes which can be found in Australia, Asia and Africa
- All pythons are non-venomous snakes which kill their prey by constricting (squeezing) them, like a boa constrictor
- Unlike boa constrictors, which give birth to live young, pythons lay eggs.
- Thanks to their good looks and lack of venom, both the Jungle Carpet python and the Green Tree python are popular as pet snakes
- Their favourite foods are: small mammals, birds, frogs and lizards – yum!
- The Green Tree python spends most of her life in the trees, only coming to the forest floor to find a new tree. The Jungle Carpet python lives on both the forest floor and also in the trees.
- The longest species of python in the world is the Reticulated python, which lives in a number of Asian countries and has been reported to grow up to 10m or 33ft long! (but this report is unverified)
Aren’t they amazing creatures? Let’s make one so you can have your own “pet” paper python.
How to make a Paper Chain Snake
You will need:
- Construction paper the colour of the snake you choose to make
- A glue stick
- Felt tip markers
- The printable template, available in both our printable store and our TPT store
Print out the snake you wish to make. For each medium-length snake you’ll need:
- 1x head and tail page
- 2 x top and tummy link pages
- 2 x side link pages
- 1 set of eyes and tongue
To make a longer snake print out more of the body links.
Cut: Cut out the top and tummy links out and place in one pile. Place the side links in a separate pile. Cut the head and tail out and save for last.
Make the body: Create a paper chain alternating one “top and tummy” link with each “side link”. When gluing the top and tummy, place the glued end on the underside, when gluing the side links place it at the back. This keeps the pattern consistent.
Colour the eye and tongue, then glue onto the head.
Fold the tab on the head, and glue into place at one end of the chain. Do the same with the tail.
Isn’t he sssssss-splendid?
To make the Green Tree snake, the only difference is that you need to use a Q-tip to paint the dots on it’s back before assembling (they are usually white or light yellow).
Of course, you may wish to come up with your own unique snake design using the blank template included with the set.
Design your own paper chain snake
This is a fun STEM activity idea. Remember to decorate the side links differently to the top and tummy links using pencils, felt tip markers or paints.
Alternatively you can use the colours of the construction paper as the “pattern”. A fabulous variation would be to create a pattern with fingerprints.
Do you love snakes, or are you afraid of them?
More Australian animal craft ideas