Galen and I met working with children at a Centre for families to attend in the summer. Galen had a connection there with a local man who trained carrier pigeons. The children were ecstatic to send messages to each other which then arrived by pigeon! In memory of this, we created our own carrier pigeon to use in your classroom or home. This is an activity where you can customize how complex you want it to be by the materials that you choose to work with. Materials Cardboard Roll (taken from paper or toilet tissue. We used a mailing tube that we cut to size) Construction paper, cardstock, craft foam, or felt (various colours for the bird’s body, head, beak, wings etc.) Glue (or fabric glue if you are using felt) Stapler Black marker (for drawing details) Wiggly eyes Metal washers (can be purchased at a hardware store) glue gun (used by an adult or with direct supervision depending on age/ skill level) String, twine or fishing line Ribbon Crayons, felt markers etc. Template carrier_pigeon_template Directions Take your cardboard roll and cover it with the colour of construction paper that you would like your bird to be. Glue or staple it on. On our “fancy” version (as our kids would call it), we used felt and glued it using fabric glue. We added ribbon for detail and to cover the edges of the felt pieces. Cut two small slits (the width of your washer) into your cardboard tube so it will be easier to attach your washers later. They should be near the top and lower portion of the bird’s body (see photo). You can do this using scissors or have an adult use an exacto knife. Print out the provided templates on a sturdy paper such as card stock (the two sides of the head/neck, the two wings and the two tail sections). For our fancy version of the carrier pigeon, we traced it onto cardboard, covered it with felt and sewed along the edges with a sewing machine. To personalize your bird, have your child draw their own head, wing and tail. Just remember to create a mirror image (by flipping it over and tracing it the other way) of each of the pieces. Print out the provided feather templates or draw your own. If you print them on white cardstock, add some colour with crayons, felt markers etc. You could cut them out of felt or craft foam as well. Glue them onto your wings and tail pieces. We started at the bottom and layered them, going upward. Either draw eyes, cut out (using foam or felt) or attach wiggly ones to each side of your pigeon’s head. Cut out a beak (with a mirror image for the other side) and attach. Glue one side of you bird together (head/neck, wing and tail to the body) and allow to dry overnight. Glue the other side of your bird together the following day and allow to dry overnight. Have an adult glue in your washers (metallic circles purchased at a hardware store), using a glue gun. Once dry, loop fishing line through the washers and anchor the fishing line between two points. You can now write messages and roll them up, putting them in your bird, “flying” them through the air! Purpose Creating an opportunity for writing. Using fine motor skills with a variety of tools/materials Creating a likeness of something. Safety Notes A glue gun, exacto knife and sewing machine should be used by an adult. Please use scissors with supervision. As with all string etc., fishing line poses a strangulation hazard and should be used with direct supervision. Please like & share: 3 Responses Zina August 30, 2014 This is seriously cool. Reply Bonnie Scorer September 5, 2014 Thank you Zina! I loved making this kind of stuff for the kids when I was a teacher. Bonnie- Reply Jeanine December 4, 2014 Wow. Your projects just keep getting better and better Mrs Bonnie. I’m having so much fun here! Reply Leave a Reply to Bonnie Scorer Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.