Thursday, June 27, 2013


Colorful Characters

Madagascar is known for having very unique animals and plants.  The lemur is possibly the most well known, and we will be doing a project on them, but I also wanted to do a project on another well known inhabitant of the island- the chameleon.

There are over 160 different species of chameleons, ranging in size from 3/4 of an inch to 26 inches, and almost 2/3 of these chameleons live in Madagascar. 

These reptiles are famous for a few traits-
  • They have eyes that move independently of each other, allowing them a 360° view.
  • Their feet are specially formed to live in the trees.  Their five toes are grouped into two pads that grip the branches.
  • They walk with a back and forth motion to mimic the leaves blowing.  This makes them hard to see.
  • They have long sticky tongues that can grab an insect or worm from inches away without the chameleon moving at all.
  • They can change colors!!  This is perhaps their most well-known trait, but I (and I bet you too) thought this was mostly for camouflage.  It's not.  The chameleon changes it's color to show emotions, communicate with potential mates, and defend it's territory.
Chameleons are pretty cool alright.  So we made one to keep as a little pet.....

Pipe cleaner Chameleon
For the project you will need:
  • 3 green pipe cleaners (at least)
  • pink pipe cleaner
  • scissors
  • sharpie or googly eyes
1. Take one green pipe cleaner and make a loop about 1" long on the end.  This will be the head.

2. Cut a piece of the pink pipe cleaner about 2" long and attach one end to the "head".  This is the tongue.  You can curl it up to make it look cuter.

3. Take another green pipe cleaner and wrap the head to make it look more like a solid head.  This should take about 3/4 of the pipe cleaner.  Cut off the rest to use as legs.

4.  Wrap the piece you just cut off around the long piece of pipe cleaner that is extending from the head.  These are one set of legs. 

5. From the third green pipe cleaner cut another piece for another set of legs.  Attach them to the body as well.

6.  Coil the rest of the 3rd pipe cleaner (or use another pipe cleaner) until it looks like a spring.  Bend up the legs and slide the coil over them to make the body.  Pull the legs back out and arrange until it looks right.

7.  You should still have a piece of the 1st pipe cleaner (the body) sticking out of the back.  This is the tail.  Curl it under in a spiral.
The picture shows it curled up but it should curl under- I fixed it later. :)

8.  Draw on some eyes or glue on some googly eyes.  The googly eyes would look cuter but I couldn't find any!

9.  Bend the little guys feet and attach him to some plants (or your finger!)  Too cute :) 

This project was a little tough for my 4 year old.  He lost interest pretty quick.  My 6 year old was able to do it but it was a little challenging for her too. 

1 comment:

  1. Justin almost looks afraid of the animal on his finger!