Published January 22, 2014
Exhibits , National Aquarium
Tags: Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes, aussie week, Australia Day, australia week, australian animals, didgeridoo, diy crafts, diy didgeridoo, recycled crafts
Every year on January 26, Aussies around the world celebrate Australia Day! This national holiday marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the first fleet of British ships to Sydney Cove.
In addition to our annual event in Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes this Sunday, we’ll be celebrating Australia Day with special posts on WATERblog all week long!
Day Three: DIY Didgeridoo
The didgeridoo is a wind instrument first created by the aborigines of Northern Australia over 1,500 years ago. Didgeridoos are still an important part of cultural celebrations in modern-day Australia and have gained popularity in many other parts of the world!
Didgeridoo player (Image via Wikipedia Commons).
This Sunday, a didgeridoo player will be on-site during our Australia Day celebration to delight guests with some authentic tunes. Folks will also be able to make their own didgeridoo out of recycled materials!
For those of you who won’t be able to join us on Sunday, here’s how YOU can make your own didgeridoo!
- Paper towel rolls
- Markers and/or crayons
- Using a pencil, trace a design or pattern on your paper towel roll.
- Use your markers and/or crayons to fill in your design.
- Have fun practicing different sounds on your new didgeridoo!
Stay tuned for more Australia Week posts and join the conversation online using #AussieWeek!
Published July 20, 2013
Green Tips , National Aquarium , News
Tags: art project, artscape, artscape DIY, DIY, DIY project, heather doggett, national aquarium experts, ocean art, recycled crafts, recycled DIY
America’s largest free arts festival, Artscape, is happening this weekend in Baltimore! From fine arts and sculpture to music and fashion design, this festival is a true celebration of all forms of artistic expression.
If you’re attending Artscape, be sure to visit the Aquarium’s outreach staff in the Kidscape tent and make your very own turtle magnet out of recycled bottle caps!
If you can’t make it down to the festival this weekend, you can still celebrate the arts at home with this ocean-inspired art project:
- Scissors/exacto knife
- Glue stick or clear tape
- An old magazine
- Draw the outline for your sea creature. It works best if you make your aquatic friend big enough so that it can be cut out easily.
- Cut out the outline of your animal and decorate it!
- Cut out colorful strips of paper from your old magazine.
- Cut 4-5 horizontal slits along the animal’s body.
- Thread the magazine strips through the slits in the animal’s body (over-under for the first strip, under-over for the one next to it, and so on, or however you’d like). It helps keep the magazine paper in place if you glue or tape the end down before you start to weave.
- Weave as many strips of magazine paper as you’d like, and enjoy your new piece of ocean art!
Have a favorite recycled/ocean-inspired art project? Share it with me in the comments section!
Published June 7, 2013
Conservation , National Aquarium , 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 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 29, 2012
Conservation , Green Tips , National Aquarium , News , Uncategorized
Tags: Conservation, DIY, easy holiday crafts, eco-friendly decorations, holiday decorations, national aquarium, national aquarium washington dc, recycled crafts, recycled paper, thoughtful thursdays
From the mesmerizing experience of watching “Polar Express” in 4D to staff celebrations and special holiday enrichment activities for the animals, the holiday season is always an exciting time for us at National Aquarium.
Part of that excitement includes decorating! As part of our conservation mission, we are always on the look out for ways to use recycled and eco-friendly materials to create one-of-a-kind holiday decorations!
We’ve included the steps for some of our DIY favorites below:
Recycled Magazine Holiday Tree
- Fold the page of the magazine down to create a triangular crease
- Fold the triangle down again and then fold the tip of that page up so that it’s even with the bottom of the magazine
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 until every page of the magazine is folded in
- If desired, use glue and glitter to decorate your magazine trees!
Recycled paper (printer paper and old magazine/newspaper works best)
- Cut your paper into eight approximately one-inch wide strips (leaving one to the side)
- Loop the top half of the strip and secure to the middle of the strip with tape, loop the bottom half of the strip so to complete the “figure eight” shape
- Repeat step two for the remainder your strips
- Arrange the “figure eights” into a bow shape and secure together with a stapler.
- Loop the final strip (set aside earlier) and tape it in the center of the bow to cover the staple
3D Paper Snowflake
Recycled paper cut into six squares (again printer paper and old magazine/newspaper work best)
Old ribbon or string (optional, for hanging)
- Gather your six square sheets of paper and fold each diagonally into a triangle
- Cut three lines in the triangle by positioning the scissors along the bottom fold, these cuts should be parallel to the top edges of the triangle and should leave some distance in the middle of the triangle (do not cut the paper all the way through)
- Once you’ve cut lines into each piece of paper, unfold them so that one of the points of the square faces you
- Roll the first two innermost paper lines together to form a tube. Place these two pieces together. You should see triangle shapes on either side of the role
- Turn the diamond over, take the next two paper lines and pull them together on the opposite side of the tube and tape together as before. This will be a more rounded shape than the first tube.
- Completing that pattern, join all the paper lines together on alternating sides until every “arm” of the snowflake has been completed
- Staple together the tops of three of the completed snowflake “arms”
- Staple the other three tops together
- Join the two halves of the snowflake by stapling together the tops of the snowflake
- Staple together where the “arms” of the snowflake meet each other, ensuring that the snowflake shape will stay in place
- If desired, loop a piece of ribbon or string through one of the snowflake “arms” and hang your snowflakes on doors, banners or windows!
Want to learn some other exciting eco-friendly holiday crafts? Join us for our holiday events, including our World Holiday Traditions celebration next Friday, December 7. We’ll be using recycled holiday cards to make notes to send to service members!
Do you have a favorite eco-friendly holiday craft or decoration? Share them with us in the comments!
Published November 21, 2012
Birds , Conservation , Green Tips , National Aquarium
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!