Published June 7, 2013
Conservation , National Aquarium , National Aquarium in DC , News
Tags: Conservation, DIY, diy crafts, heather doggett, national aquarium, national aquarium experts, national aquarium in baltimore, National Aquarium in DC, recycled crafts, world oceans day
On Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, we will be celebrating World Oceans Day at both our Washington, D.C. and Baltimore locations.
At the World Oceans Day celebration, braided bracelets will be offered to take home as souvenirs. The bracelets were created by staff from old uniform shirts! In case you can’t make it to World Oceans Day, or simply want to make more bracelets at home, you can follow a few simple steps that will turn old t-shirts into new accessories!
Here’s how you can make your own bracelet using fabric from an old t-shirt:
- An old t-shirt (or any other stretchy fabric you like)
- Cut three strips of equal width from the bottom of your t-shirt or other choice of fabric. Two of the strips should be about 12 inches long, and the third should be about 14 inches.
- Gather the three strips together and tie them at the top with a knot. Tie them so that the only piece sticking out of the top is the longer strip. Tape the fabric above the knot to a flat surface.
- Start braiding as you would braid hair. Stop braiding when the length of your braid fits comfortably around your wrist.
- Tie another knot at the bottom of the bracelet.
- Cut off the excess length from the two shorter strips, leaving only the longest strip sticking out of the knot.
- Tie the two ends of the bracelet together around your wrist and admire your finished bracelet!
Don’t forget to join us this weekend for ocean-related crafts and activities!
Published March 26, 2013
Conservation , Green Tips , National Aquarium in DC , News
Tags: blossom kite festival, cherry blossom festival, DIY, diy crafts, diy kite, diy recycled crafts, kite craft, kite festival, national aquarium, National Aquarium in DC
The Blossom Kite Festival is an annual event that takes place during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., where kite fliers can show off their skills and compete for awards, while spectators get to watch the beautiful kites fill the air. This year’s Blossom Kite Festival will be held on March 30th and National Aquarium, Washington, DC have a booth on the National Mall where visitors can make their own aquatic-themed windsocks out of recycled materials!
If you can’t join the festivities in D.C., you can still participate with this kid-friendly craft! Here’s how you can make your very own “green” kite, using recycled and household materials:
- Plastic grocery bag
- Any thin sticks
- Popsicle stick
- Ruler or other straight edge
- Make the frame of your recycled kite by laying the sticks on top of each other to form a cross, then securing them by winding some string around the intersection of the sticks. Make sure the string is wrapped in a criss-cross diagonal pattern so the sticks remain in place.
- Next, cut the grocery bag on one side and across the bottom, and lay it out flat. Place the sticks on the grocery bag. Using your marker and straight edge, draw lines on the grocery bag connecting the corners of the sticks to make a template for your kite. When you are finished with this step you should have drawn a full square on the grocery bag.
- Take your scissors and cut along the guidelines you just drew. Then, tape the grocery bag to the sticks at each corner. If your square is big enough, you can fold the corners slightly over the sticks and tape it that way for extra strength.
- If you have any scraps from your grocery bag, cut them into streamers of various lengths, and attach them to the tail of your kite with tape.
- Finally, tie the string around the intersecting sticks and make several secure knots. Unspool several feet of string, then tie the other end of the string to the middle of the popsicle stick to create the line for the kite.
Don’t forget to join us out on the National Mall this weekend for the Blossom Kite Festival!
Published January 25, 2013
Conservation , Green Tips , National Aquarium , News
Tags: Australia Day, boomerangs, diy boomerang, diy crafts, national aquarium, recycled crafts, recycled materials
Australia Day is a major holiday in Australia – a special day to honor the country’s rich cultural history and lush environment! You don’t have to live down under to participate, though. In fact, you can be right here in Maryland!
Our annual Australia Day celebration at the National Aquarium is TOMORROW!
Can’t wait until tomorrow? Here’s a sneak peek at one of the fun activities we have planned for the event!
DIY Craft: Recycled Boomerang
- Cereal boxes/any rectangular pieces of cardboard
- Boomerang stencil
- Permanent markers
Instructions (makes four boomerangs):
- Print the boomerang stencil.
- Cut out the boomerang shape.
- Cut out the front and back sides of the cereal box and lay them down on a flat surface.
- Trace the boomerang shape twice onto each panel.
- Cut the boomerang shapes out and decorate them with permanent markers!
- To fly your boomerangs: grasp one of the blades between your thumb and index finger and use a sidearm motion. Applying more spin to the boomerang will cause it to fly longer and make a more complete arc when it returns.
Don’t forget to join us tomorrow in Baltimore for Australia Day! Our celebration includes fun activities, animal encounters and much more!
Published November 21, 2012
Birds , Conservation , Green Tips , National Aquarium , National Aquarium in DC
Tags: blue hyacinth macaw, cardboard turkey, diy crafts, margaret, recycled crafts, sugar, thanksgiving, thanksgiving crafts, umbrella cockatoo
We like to theme our animal enrichments around the holidays A LOT. Not only is it a fun side project for our staff, but also gives us the opportunity to re-purpose and recycle materials that otherwise would have been discarded.
Sugar showing off her cardboard turkey!
One of our favorite materials to use for these enrichment items is cardboard! This year, we decided to make some special cardboard turkeys for our birds to play with. If not being used by birds to sharpen their beaks, these turkeys also make for some festive decorations!
Margaret went right into destruction mode. She can’t resist chomping on those wooden beads!
But these playful turkeys aren’t just for our birds – they are an easy do-it-yourself project for anyone looking for some Thanksgiving craft fun! Follow the instructions below to make your own!
- Cardboard cut into wedges, we used two per turkey
- Popsicle sticks, if you are purchasing these we suggest going for the colored variety
- Wooden beads
- Zip ties
- Permanent marker
- Cut the corners of your cardboard into wedge pieces, varying in size (we kept ours between 3 and 6 inches wide)
- Using your scissors, carefully poke a small hold in the center of each wedge
- Stick your popsicle sticks in the slits of the cardboard, leaving little space in between each stick
- Once your wedges have their “feathers”, use the zip tie to connect the beads and wedges to make the shape of a turkey
- Use your permanent marker to draw eyes on your turkey!
We hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Have a favorite Thanksgiving-themed craft? Tell us in the comments!