• Made by Paola G.

Pipe Cleaner People

Updated: Jun 25


Today we are making a toy using pipe cleaners. This activity is aimed towards preschool and early school-age children. Through this activity, children are encouraged to identify and name different parts of the body. In addition, children will also develop fine motor skills. Parental assistance will be needed a few times during the activity. At the end of the activity, children will have a new toy to play with.



Supplies:

  • Sharpie

  • Scissors

  • Straws

  • Pipe cleaners

  • 1 Big bead

  • Small beads

  • Yarn




Activity Steps:


Step 1: Hair

First, take your yarn and wrap it around your hand 7 times to make a bundle. I am wrapping the yarn around my left hand. After creating the bundle, cut the yarn. Then, take one pipe cleaner. Choose any color you want – I chose white! Next, fold the pipe cleaner in half. Lastly, take the bundle of yarn and place it in the middle of the pipe cleaner.



Step 2: Head and Neck

To make the head, take one big bead. I chose a big white wooden bead! Insert the bead through both ends of the pipe cleaner and pull the bead to the top until it reaches the yarn. The head will help secure the yarn in place. Next, take a small bead and insert it through both ends of the pipe cleaner. Pull it to the top until it is touching the big bead. This small bead is the neck!



Step 3:

First, bend out both ends of the pipe cleaner. These will become the arms. Take a second pipe cleaner. Choose any color you want – I chose green! The second pipe cleaner is going to be the stomach and the legs. Fold the second pipe cleaner in half and place it over the arms. The center of the second pipe cleaner is going to be under the small bead (neck). Pull both ends of the second pipe cleaner down.



Step 4: Stomach

Take three small beads of any color and insert them through both ends of the second pipe cleaner. Pull it to the top until it reaches the neck. The three beads will be the stomach!


Step 5:

We are now going to begin making the legs and the arms! First, you are going to take one straw. Cut a piece from your straw, the length of a cotton swab. Now you have two pieces of straws, one small and one large piece of straw. We want to cut three more pieces that are the same size as our small piece of straw. To avoid using a ruler, we are going to use our small piece of straw as the measurement. Take your smallest piece of straw and align it with the largest piece. Take the Sharpie and draw a mark, on the big piece of straw, next to the lower end of the small piece of straw.



Next, lower your small piece of straw until one end of the straw is aligned to the mark made by the Sharpie. Take the Sharpie once again and draw a mark. From one straw, you will obtain only three small pieces of straw and you needs a total of 4 small pieces of straws. Take a second straw and align it with one of your small pieces of straw. For the last time, draw a mark using the Sharpie. Cut the straws on the line. You now have 4 small pieces of straws and one large piece of straw. Store the large piece of straw away.

Lastly, cut each small piece of straw in half. Now you have a total of 8 smaller pieces of straw. Let’s start making the legs!


Note: Another way to obtain 8 equal pieces of straws is to cut one straw in half to get two pieces. Then, cut both pieces of straw in half to get 4 pieces of straws. Finally, cut all 4 pieces in half to get the 8 smaller pieces of straw in total. Your pipe cleaner toy will be smaller but that is okay.



Step 6: Legs

First bend out both ends of your second pipe cleaner. Remember, the second pipe cleaner is going to be the legs. Let’s start by forming the right leg. First, insert one small piece of straw through the end of the pipe cleaner. Pull the straw all the way to the top until it reaches the beads that form the stomach. Then take one small bead of any color and insert it through the same end. Pull the bead all the way to the top and stop once your bead is touching the straw. This bead is going to be your knee. Take one more piece of straw and insert it through the same end of the pipe cleaner. Pull the straw to the top until it has reached your bead and add another small bead through the same end of the pipe cleaner. This bead is going to be your foot.

To complete the right leg, cut off most of the excess pipe cleaner while leaving a small piece behind. Tuck this piece into the straw to secure the leg in place.

Let’s make the left leg! To make the left leg, follow the same steps you took to make the right leg.


Step 7: Arms

We can now make the arms! Let’s begin by forming the right arm. First insert a small bead, of any color, through the pipe cleaner and push it all the way in. This will be the shoulder. Then, insert one your small pieces of straw through one end of your pipe cleaner. Pull the straw all the way to the top until it reaches your bead. Now, take one small bead of any color and insert it through the same end and pull it all the way to the top and stop once your bead is touching the straw. This bead is going to be your elbow. Take one more piece of straw and insert it through the same end of the pipe cleaner. Pull the straw to the top until it has reached your bead. Add one more small bead of any color through the same end of the pipe cleaner. This bead is going to be the hand.



To complete the right arm, cut off most of the excess pipe cleaner while leaving a small piece behind. Tuck this piece into the straw to secure the arm in place.

Let’s make the left arm! To make the left arm, follow the same steps you took to make the right arm.




Step 8:

Lastly, take a Sharpie and add the eyes, nose, and mouth on the wooden bead (head). You can also use the scissors to cut the looped ends of the yarn, but this is optional.


And we are done! You can make more pipe cleaner people or go play!
















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