Balance the animals in a teetering, tottering tower…but will your stack stick the landing?
We read Chicken Cheeks, written by Michael Ian Black, and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Simon & Schuster, 2009). When a bear spots a honey-laden hive at the top of a very tall tree, he enlists a number of friends to attempt the reach it. The funny thing about this book, however, is that the narrative is driven by the…ah, alliterative body part each animal must balance on to stack upwards. Hence, “Chicken cheeks.” We’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
- An assortment of oatmeal containers, small boxes, and tubes
- A selection of construction paper
- A selection of eye stickers (optional)
- Scissors and tape for construction
- Markers for decorating
This project consists of a set of critters constructed out of tubes, boxes, and construction paper. We used eye stickers, but you can draw eyes on with markers as well. Any combination of animals will do, but here’s our story time stack:
The moose was the biggest and heaviest, and thus at the bottom of the stacking tower. This was a large oatmeal container wrapped in construction paper.
This was a small box wrapped with paper. We went with a grey dog since there was already a lot of red and brown in the stack.
Our toucan was a round packing tape core, though a small box can easily be substituted. We used a cone water cup for the beak, but a cylinder of construction paper works as well. Feather crest optional!
We decided to go easy with this one…the polar bear is a white craft box with a face. Done!
Everyone’s surprise favorite was the turkey! It has a tape core body, but the tail is kids’ hands repeatedly traced onto construction paper. In other words, the classic kiddie turkey drawing, rendered in 3-D!
This is the same paper towel tube giraffe we created at our Don’t Rock the Boat story time. And if you want to add a tiger, turtle, parrot, ladybug, monkey, skunk, or elephant to your stack, you’ll find that post as well!
By the time we got to the bee we were almost out of time. So I handed these to the kids almost fully constructed. They just had to add the pre-cut construction paper stripes (or draw them on with marker), choose a twisteez wire antennae, and stick the eyes on.
Yes, this project was a lot of critter-building, but it was well worth the work. Especially when the artistic towers started growing taller and taller. Just look at this awesomeness!