How-To: Make a Puffer Fish from a Barf Bag

CRAFT Summer Camp
I just flew in from Detroit. My trip went like this: Oakland–>JFK, then a week later, La Guardia–>Detroit, then a week after that, Detroit–>LAX–>Santa Rosa. Phew! I have never flown that much in just in two weeks, and since it’s the heart of summer vacation, I was very surprised to see so many children on every flight. There were even 10 kids on the red-eye I took! So, since I’m destroyed by jet lag, inspired by airplanes, and suddenly understand the need for great entertainment for children on a flight, I’m heading back into the archives for this Barf Bag Puffer Fish Puppet.

Barf bag

Small scissors TSA allows scissors with a blade length of less than 4″
Glue stick
Blank notebook paper

Step 1: Fold a piece of blank paper into an accordion 2″ wide. This way you can cut out multiple spines at once. Draw some wide and some narrow spines on the top of the folded paper. Cut along the lines, then cut apart the triangles.
Step 2: Color the spines. Make patterns, draw scales, add textures. Use lots of color. This is the part that will occupy small hands the longest. Encourage lots of detail to keep them coloring! You can even have them color the bag after you’ve drawn on the face in the next step.
Step 3: Draw a mouth and eyes on the fish. The bottom part of the bag that is folded flat is very anthropomorphic, so work with it! Turn the bag so the bottom flap looks like a mouth. Draw half the mouth on the top part of the flap, and the other half of the mouth on the bottom of the flap. Continue the bottom lips of the mouth under the flap, to the crease. Add a tongue, but make is short enough to be concealed by the flap, so that it is only revealed when you puff up the fish. Draw the eyes above the mouth, on the corners of the folds, on the bottom of the bag.
Step 4: Fold over a tiny bit of the flat (bottom) end of each spine. Glue the spine to the bag by pressing just the folded edge onto the glue stick, and then against the bag. Glue the spines all over the inside folds, the back of the “head,” and along the body, top and below. Make sure you don’t glue the whole spine down to the bag, just the folded edge.
Step 5: Puff up the fish! Blow air into the barf bag. The spines poke out everywhere and the fish sticks out his tongue.

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