Alligators are as much a part of the southern culture as Mardi Gras. Sometimes alligators are used as emblems or jewelry for Mardi Gras. Cajun cooking includes dishes made from alligator meat.
Students in first grade and up can make an alligator from a TP tube to practice cutting, gluing and assembly skills. To make this craft, you will need TP tubes, copies of the pattern printed on green paper, scissors, dark green and yellow colored pencils or crayons, white glue and glitter glue. It also helps to have an example of what an alligator looks like; a toy or a picture that has the scales and texture of alligator skin.
Click on the picture and choose “save as”. Paste the picture into a Word document, and enlarge the picture until it fits the page. Make copies on green paper that is as stiff as your copy machine will allow.
Show examples of an alligator. Look at the texture of the belly and top scales. Use crayons or colored pencils to draw scales on the body parts.
Cut out the parts. Glue the belly to the tube. Spread the glue out into an even, thin coat. Glue the top to the tube, matching the joint of the jaw, and overlapping the sides of the belly evenly. Cut out the eyes. Fold on the center fold line, into an upside down V. Fold the ends out at a 90 degree angel to make an omega shape. Glue the tabs to the top of the body.
Glitter glue can be used to make the gator look festive, or to spell out Happy Mardi Gras on the sides of the alligator. To make a wall or door decoration, slip a loop of yarn through the tube to make a hanging loop. A hanging loop can also be made from broken strings of Mardi Gras beads. Twist the first and last bead together the way a clown makes an animal from balloons.
This craft can be used as a follow-up activity for story time, after reading a book about alligators.