Throughout the year we learned a little bit about a few different Native American tribes. When we were studying the Sioux of the Great Plains the boys made teepees out of paper bags.
This project was completed in one sitting & made a great visual when learning about the Sioux. We learned that the teepees were positioned so the door flaps opened to the east, the direction of the rising sun. We learned that the designs painted or embroidered on the outside represented something significant about the family living in the teepee. They had fires & cooked in their teepees. This, of course, created smoke. The hole & flaps at the top of the teepee were there to let the smoke escape.
This post contains affiliate links.
I used the tipi project from this Indians of the Great Plains stencil book as a guide for our teepees.
It seems so simple, which really it was. But, it still took a little trial & error to get the template just right for the boys to trace. It’s basically a half circle with wings at the top to create smoke flaps.
The boys cut open a paper grocery bag & traced around my template onto the bag. Then they used oil pastels to decorate their teepee. Both boys chose to use one stencil from the book, as well as add a few other design elements
The boys used tape to fasten the paper bag into a cone shape. We found we needed to add tape to both the inside & outside of the teepee to keep it together. Then they taped 6 skewers on the inside to act as the long poles holding up the teepee.
Left: They folded out the smoke flaps.
Right: And, they folded out the door flaps.
They also added toothpicks to act as pins holding the teepee together.
Farm Kid1 chose to add long poles (aka skewers) to the back of his teepee through the smoke flaps. Farm Kid2 chose not to add these poles.
Farm Kid2’s teepee. The symbols on his smoke flap represent 3 days & 3 nights.
This was definitely a fun project. I had fun seeing what designs the boys came up with. They turned out so well I currently have them displayed on our mantel.