contributed by Leanne Guenther
This wide-eyed little owl has some pretty autumn leaves on his chest instead of feathers. You can use real leaves that you collect at any time of year or you can use the paper template leaves that I've provided -- you could also use feathers!
There are over 150 different kinds of owls in the world. Most of them are "nocturnal" which means they are awake during the night and asleep during the day (sort of like my teenage daughter, hehe).
Getting ready for winter:
Owls don't hibernate (sleep) during the winter. There's actually only one type of bird in the whole world that hibernates -- the common poorwill which is found in North America (mainly the northwest).
Owls don't usually migrate (move south) during the winter either. There are a few types that do but most stay put all year round -- they might move around a little bit to find food, but other than that they don't like to travel much.
Instead of migrating or hibernating, owls deal with cold weather using their feathers. Feathers are very warm and birds can fluff them up, catching warm air from their bodies in the feathers to keep them even warmer. Some even have fluffy feathers around their feet. The snowy owl even changes the colors of their feathers so they blend in with the snow in the wintertime.
Owls, and other birds, also eat LOTS during the autumn to store up energy to help them survive through the winter. All of the animals, including the owls, seem to work hard on getting chubby during the fall -- they're so cute when they're chubby!
- something to color with,
- Optional: real leaves that you collect outside
Instructions for making the owl craft:
- Print out the template of choice. I have provided an option that has faint lines for children who like a little more direction on where the leaves should be glued.
- Optional: Go for a nature walk and collect leaves. You can collect them from small shrubs and bushes, not just trees! Cotoneaster bushes have the prettiest autumn leaves in our neighbourhood. You can work on making an autumn leaf booklet at the same time you do this craft.
- If using the black and white template, color in the owl -- you can leave the chest area white as we'll be covering that with leaves.
- If you don't feel like using real leaves, cut some free hand from construction paper or use the leaf template I have provided (see below). You can also use feathers you purchase at the craft shop. I don't like to use feathers collected outside because they can have little bugs in them and I like to leave them for the birds to collect to keep their nests warm in the winter.
- Some leaves have really long stems (our weeping birch tree has leaves with stems that are longer than the leaf itself!) If the stems are really long, thick or woody you might want to snip them off with scissors before you start making your craft. This is what we did after struggling for a little while to get the overlapping leaves to stick to the paper when the stems were in the way.
- Glue the leaves all over the owls chest to cover it up.
- Let the glue dry.
- Optional: Store your project with a sheet of waxed paper overtop and a heavy book on top (does anyone still have phone books? *laugh*) If you don't have a heavy book, put a
paper pad with a few heavy cans on top instead. This will help press and preserve the leaves a little bit. They'll still get crunchy overtime, but pressing them flat under waxed
paper will help keep them from crumbling somewhat.
We actually took the time to do this with the owl and it lasted about twice as long on the fridge as the leaf projects we did without pressing.
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).