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Supplement to the Family Go Guide

Stick Snake

Children can create a realistic-looking snake with a stick and paint. Using reference books as guides they determine which snake species to use. They duplicate the skin pattern on the branch. Not only is this a fun project, but after carefully copying colors and patterns a child will be able to identify that species of snake. The finished product may be placed on its belly on the floor or furniture, or may be suspended by attaching fishing line or string to the ends.

A branch from any shrub or tree may be used. Look around your yard for snaky looking branches. They have interesting shapes and are easy to obtain. Snipping a branch from the bush will not injure the plant. Remember to collect natural materials where it is legal to do so, and get permission from the land owner.


  1. Cut branches from shrubs or trees. Creosote bush branches work well because they have snake-like bends. Lengths should be 2 to 3 feet.
  2. Research snakes in field guides or other reference books to discover which snake would work well for the branch size and shape.
  3. With sandpaper or wood file, shape the tail and head.
  4. Paint the entire branch a light color - one that matches the belly scales (scutes). Let the paint dry.
  5. Using pictures in the reference books, carefully paint the pattern on the stick snake. Be as realistic as possible.

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