This toilet paper roll snake is made by attaching together the paper rolls with Bamboo Skewers, allowing the snake to have pivoting joints. This creates a movement in the paper snake that makes the snake move like an actual snake would. It can slither side to side and even up and down. This craft becomes a fun toy snake to play with, or use it as a puppet in pretend play. You could also create a stop-motion animation using your paper snake creation, the possibilities are endless, so choose a creative direction and go for it!

Using everyday materials by up-cycling them into a craft is an environmentally conscious way of crafting. Don’t go out and buy new materials when you have perfectly usable materials in your own home. Toilet paper rolls are always readily available so save them up for this craft and when you have enough, create this movable toilet paper roll snake.


Create this paper snake as long as you’d like, we used 9 paper rolls for this craft, but use as many as you’d like. Add your own creativity by painting it any colour you chose. You can also draw on the scales with markers and watch it come to life!


Materials:


Snake Body:

  1. 6 or more toilet paper rolls

  2. Bamboo skewers (cut to size) or thin wooden dowels

  3. White masking tape or clear tape

  4. Markers

  5. Scissors

  6. Paint (optional)


Snake Tongue (optional)

  1. Red Felt or red paper

  2. 1 bamboo skewer

  3. Scissors

  4. Clear or white tape (or glue)


Instructions:

  1. Flatten the paper roll and cut a triangle out of each side, then puncture a hole in the leading points that remain (4) - view slideshow below

  2. Open up the roll a little and overlap 2 rolls (put on side end inside the other) then push skewer through holes that are aligned to create a pivoting joint

  3. Repeat to make multiple segments in your snake

  4. Once you have the desired number of segments, decorate the terminal segments to make them look like heads and tails of a snake to complete the craft

  5. create a tongue to animate the snake even further (see last images below)

Cut out a red felt tongue and Attach it to the bamboo skewer with tape (or glue) to create a animated tongue.


This one has a minimal look to it because that’s how our 6 year old wanted to design it but there are endless possibilities as to how the outcome of the design could look.


Younger kids might need a little help with the holes and skewers, but it’s a fun craft to create together and build memories.

Check out some of the Northern Rubber Boa snakes that we witnessed in the wild in West Kootenay, British Columbia. Watching wild snakes slithering on the ground inspired this craft. We wanted to make a pretend snake that moved like a real one. Rubber Boas can be found Across North America. They are named after their rubbery (loose skin) appearance and feel. These snakes can live 7.5 years on average but some have been known to live for 30+ years.


Northern Rubber boas are on the special concerns list in Canada, but they aren’t considered at risk. They are mostly threatened by humans, housing developments and roadways. In the photos below we are handling a few baby rubber boas because they needed to be rescued from bad situations and they were released back into the wild shortly after the picture. Rubber boas aren’t known to bite humans and their gently demeanour makes them a popular pet. Unfortunately, that is how humans are a threat to them, so please don’t take these wild snakes out of the wild and into your home.

Adult Rubber Boa. Photo by: Acorns and Aprons
Baby Rubber Boa. Photo by Acorns and Aprons 2020
Juvenile Wild Rubber bia that we rescued and released. Photo by: Acorns and Aprons 2020

Notice how the tail of the Rubber Boa is thick and blunt, like their head. This confuses predators and also is why they are sometimes referred to as “two headed snake”.