|Aardvark's termite hill
A malleable dough and paper
craft activity for children and adults.
|This is a tactile group or
individual activity that focuses on the native african living environment
and habits of the mammal Aardvark - Aardvark conservation
Using a termite hill modeled from salt dough the children can
fill and empty the central area with termite ants then role play with
a hungry finger puppet Aardvark!!
For individual aardvarks and termite hills, card cones and puppets
can be made to link setting activity with home.
Please assess this activity for individual suitability.
Dough for a group activity:
4 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 cup of water
To mix and model the hill:
A ceramic mixing bowl
Aluminum foil to cover the bowl for baking.
preserve and present:
Mud paint - cup + spoon + mud + water + brushes
Red and green poster paint - optional
Polyurethane varnish - optional
Base board - heavy card/mounting board for the termite hill to
Sand to add texture to the base board.
PVA glue to attach sand to the baseboard.
Copy of Aardvark puppet body
Mark making tools - colouring pencils/crayons, sticky tape, black
Small double sided sticky pads to attach to the aardvark's snout
tip .. and catch the termites.
Clear sticky tape to secure the slits made in the finger puppet.
Black tissue paper to scrunch into balls and form the termites.
|Making the dough ..
Model your termite hill
The salt dough can be made and modeled during one activity or
if preferred it can be made ahead of time.
As in the image guide above please make the dough by combining
all ingredients in a bowl and mixing to a firm consistency. When ready,
turn out and knead until smooth.
Use this opportunity to wash the bowl and cover with foil - this
will prevent the dough sticking to the bowl when baking.
Place upside down onto a tray for dough construction ....
Roll the dough, squash, flatten and piece together chunks that
cover the outer surface of the bowl.
Model a hole in the top of the hill and 1 or 2 large, hand &
puppet sized holes at the lower edge before painting ...
Paint your termite hill
Make the mud wash paint by collecting a spoonful from a preferred
Add a quantity of water and swirl gently
Strain the watery mud paint to rescue any accidentally caught
worms & mini bugs.
Release back outside ..
Paint the hill ...
Adapt the colouring if mentioned or requested with additional
red and green poster paint.
Bake the finished termite hill for approx. 8 - 12 hours - overnight
130c, 250f, gas mark ½.
The best bake will produce a deep hollow sound when tapped or
knocked with fingertips / knuckles.
Allow to cool and gently lift off of the bowl and remove the
foil from inside, where possible.
To preserve the hill indefinitely
Add a coat of polyurethane varnish to the inside and outside
of the hill.
This will help to protect the dough from absorbing moisture and
becoming soggy - please still store in a clean dry aerated place.
Varnish may take an additional day or two to dry thoroughly enough
Spread PVA glue over the surface of a piece of heavy board and
collage with sand.
Allow to dry and stand termite hill on top once dry.
Please click to open image in a new window
Print a copy of Aardvark and cut out.
Provide mark making tools to colour fill where wanted.
Lay 2 lengths of clear sticky tape across the black lines located
on the aardvark image.
Fold the whole image gently in half, length ways and cut along
the black lines - the tape should give strength, preventing the paper
ripping out at the edges.
Push the newly formed slot downwards and slide a finger through.
Cut and attach a short piece of double sided foam sticky pad
to the end of the snout - use this to discuss aardvark's tongue and
food capturing method.
Remove backing paper from the foam pad for play.
Scrunch up a number of black/red tissue paper balls - termites
and place inside the hill.
Who's aardvark snout will catch the first, second, third termite
Remove termites to a collection pot and release back into the
hill for continued play ..
Ensure children have ownership of their dough activity and can
build, adapt and play with in their own way ..
Questions that explore and evaluate ..
-- How can the termite hill be put together.
-- What colours will be needed.
-- What do real termites build their hills from?
-- Where do termites and aardvarks live
-- How hot and cold is the country Africa
Examine the salt dough ingredients.
Discuss the size requirements of the hill for the finger
puppets, hands and tissue ball termites ..
Story books to compliment activities
Awkward Aardvark by Mwalimu, Adrienne Kennaway
Awkward Aardvark's awful snoring keeps the other animals awake
night after night. Something has got to be done.
This is the story of how awkward Aardvark came to sleep during
the day and eat termites at night.
An African folk tale
Enjoy your activities