Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – cute koalas to make.
When it comes to celebrating Australia and all it has to offer, it’s hard to go past the wildlife.
Australia has more than 378 mammal species and 828 bird species as well as thousands of fish and hundreds of snake and lizard species.
More than 80 per cent of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia and are found no-where else.
Among the most famous and well-loved mammals is the koala, often referred to as a bear, though they are related to kangaroos and wombats.
Their cute and cuddly appearance, like a teddy bear, is what prompts people to refer to koalas as bears.
Australia is also renowned for its dangerous animals. We have more deadly snakes than any other country on the planet.
Not content with our notorious reputation for reptiles, spiders, insects and sea creatures that can kill, Aussies created a legend about the drop bear (closely related to the koalas) as a joke to scare tourists.
The drop bear is a predatory version of the koala that is said to drop from the treetops onto the heads of unsuspecting tourists walking below.
Advice to save yourself from these vicious creatures includes placing forks in your hair and smearing Vegemite behind your ears.
The truth is, koalas are docile herbivores, unrelated to bears, and can sleep up to 22 hours a day.
The destruction of their habitat has resulted in a 90 per cent drop in the koala population within the last 10 years.
Other dangers include the roads that cross their habitat, resulting in road kills, as well as attacks by dogs and disease.
How much can a koala bear? 🙂
These projects are designed to celebrate koalas. But first, some fast facts.
- Koala cubs are tiny when born – about two centimetres long. They are blind and furless and rely on their senses of smell and touch to make their journey to the mother’s pouch.
- Once in the pouch, they attach themselves to one of two teats which swell in their mouths, stopping them from being dislodged.
- The cub will stay in its mother’s pouch for five months.
- Koalas eat around half a kilo of eucalyptus leaves a day but only from about 30 of the 600 varieties of trees.
- Around 4,000 koalas are killed each year by dogs and cars alone, according to the Australian Koala Foundation.
- Without those threats, koalas can live 20 years or more.
- Koalas are protected by law, but their habitat is not. Around eighty per cent of remaining habitat occurs on privately owned land.
- Koala fingerprints are virtually indistinguishable from human ones.
CUTE KOALAS TO MAKE
KOALA ART PROJECT
I like to use watercolour soft pastels for this project because they smudge so beautifully, leaving a soft and fluffy look to the koala. However, the project can be done using any drawing materials on hand or with watercolour paints and pencils.
- Paper or canvas
- Watercolour crayons or medium of your choice
- This is an excellent project for young children as the shapes are so simple.
- Place your canvas or paper in a landscape (horizontal) position.
- Using the pencil, lightly draw a large semi-circle at the bottom of the page.
- Draw another semi-circle, a little smaller, inside this.
- On top of the semi-circle, draw a triangular shape with rounded edges, with one point overlapping the semi-circle.
- Draw a semi-circle on top of the two remaining triangle points.
- That’s it – the basic shape is done.
- Use the crayons to make little lines sticking out perpendicularly from the outline to represent the fur.
- Leave the inner semi-circle white and smudge the crayon lines to colour the rest of the koala body and face.
- Add a little pink colouring to the ears and smudge.
- Use the black crayon to draw on eyes, nose and mouth.
- Colour the background as desired.
This is a fun toy for children.
- Thin cardboard
- Wooden rod or wooden spoon handle
- Measure about 5 cm from the top of the cardboard and mark the spot to give yourself a guide for the koala’s size. You don’t want it too big or you’ll need too much wire and it may not ‘climb’ well.
- Follow the instructions in the image below to draw a simple koala onto the cardboard.
- Fold the cardboard so that your drawing is doubled and cut out the koala shape to make two.
- Colour the outside of each koala and add facial features.
- Cut a length of wire around 60 – 70 cm long, using the pliers.
- Twist the wire around the wooden rod or spoon handle to make a spiral.
- Carefully remove the rod.
- Cut a length of wire about 10 cm long.
- Use the pliers to make a small loop at each end and bend the wire into a semi-circle shape.
- Glue the centre of the wire between the two koala cut-outs.
- When the glue is dry, thread the loops onto the spiral. NOTE: If you want the koala to ‘climb’ fast, just thread one loop onto the spiral.
- Add loops on each end of the spiral so the koala doesn’t fall off.
The koala ‘climbs’ when you shake the spiral.
Check these fun paint projects for more Australia inspired fun.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.