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Get Crafting: Make Your Own Paper Python

Plum Creek Nature Center’s Penny the python wants a few new friends! With just paper, scissors and decorations you can make a spiraling, slithering snake just like her.

Paper pythons are a fun, easy-to-make craft. (Photo by Suzy Lyttle)

Meet Penny

Penny is a ball python native to Africa. She joined the Plum Creek Nature Center family in 2017 and has been having a ball ever since.

Penny is a ball python. (Photo by Suzy Lyttle)

She has a very curious personality! If you ever meet Penny in person, you’ll see that she is always on the move, exploring everything around her. And you’ll notice her tongue sticking out! She is not trying to make a silly face, but using her tongue to smell. She loves to hold hands. Normally she would be holding on to tree branches, so in place she wraps around hands and arms to stay steady. Penny is a constrictor, meaning she like to squeeze!

She eats one frozen rat a month by squeezing her prey and swallowing it hole. Penny got her name because of her beautiful scales. In the sun, they shine just like a copper penny. No two ball pythons have the same patterns. She has colors of tan, brown and black with saddles, or blotches, running down her back.

Snake patterns

Ball pythons have colors to camouflage into their environment. Other snakes have bright, bold patterns like stripes, speckles or bands. Some snakes are all one color.

This activity is a great chance to work on colors and patterns with your little ones. Try color patterns like red, black, yellow, repeat. Work on shape patterns like diamond, rectangle, diamond, repeat. Check out field guides or look online for some real snakes to get inspired.


(Photo by Suzy Lyttle)
  • Paper or paper plate

  • Pencil

  • Scissors

  • Decorations: crayons, makers, paint, stickers, etc.

  • String to hang for décor (optional)


1. Draw a circle on a piece of paper, or use a paper plate.

2. Draw a spiral on the paper or paper plate.

(Photo by Suzy Lyttle)

3. Decorate your snake. Create a color or shape pattern. Make sure to keep the pattern going all the way to the tip of the tail!

(Photo by Suzy Lyttle)

4. Don’t forget the back. Snakes have scales and patterned bellies too!

5. Cut along the spiral.

6. Add a tongue. Snakes have forked tongues!

7. Add a string to hang in your room or for a party.

Want to learn more about snakes with your family? Watch this one-hour Nature Play Day all about snakes. The Zoom program features snake adaptations, Penny the Python, a sing-along story and this craft.


Follow Willy's Wilderness on Facebook for more kid-friendly nature stories and activities.


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