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This idea started when I took my boys to a show called Snakes Alivewhere they had a blast learning about reptiles (mainly snakes and alligators) and even got to hold and touch them! Tom Kessenich the herpetologist was so fun and so good with all the kids! The show was great and I recommend it to anyone who has kids that love reptiles!

My older son has always been fascinated by snakes, other reptiles and anything creepy crawly! My younger son likes that stuff too but he isn't as much into it as my older son.

Anyway, they had a wooden snake toy there for the kids to play with and both my boys had a hard time putting it down when it was time to leave. It was solid unstained and unpainted wood but slithered, moved, had a tongue and looked antiqued! I looked at it and thought we should just try and make a few instead of hunting for hours trying to find two to buy. And this way the family could work together on a summer project and have tons of fun doing it.

The snake they played with looked weathered/antiqued. Whether it was like that from the start or like that from hours of play I don't know but I liked the look so we tried to replicate it in a painted version!

You will need the following supplies to make a wooden snake:
wooden dowel(s)
utility blade
sandpaper
paint and brushes
newspaper
pencil
saw and miter box
drill and 1/16 inch drill bit
elmer's glue
toothpick
cotton swab
embroidery thread
and....creative kids!

Step 1: Carve the Wood

Choose wooden dowels of the length and thickness of your choice. We had a whole stack of them sitting in the garage so I let the boys pick which ones they wanted.

Using a utility blade start cutting away at the wood making one end pointed and one end more rounded. If you haven't noticed you are cutting the tail and the head of a snake!!

Once you get the shapes you want for the head and tail lightly carve the entire dowel giving it a hand-cut texture. I recommend doing this outside so you can easily clean up scraps with a broom when you are done.

Lightly sand any rough spots using a fine grit sandpaper.

***Any cutting tool, including a utility blade, is extremely sharp. Use them with much caution and do not let the kids help with this step! Always cut AWAY from yourself.
I liked your Instructable and toy idea so much, I decided to make a couple for my nephews for Christmas. <br> <br>I did a little trial and error while making these and decided on a few design changes. I threaded the segments together with braided nylon mason's line for added durability. I drilled two holes in each of the segments and wove the line through them instead of gluing it in the groove. I also beveled the ends of each segment so that the snake can bend side to side, but is pretty rigid vertically. <br> <br>The scale decoration is burned in using half a piece of steel tubing heated with a propane torch. The eyes are plastic jewels and the tongue is craft foam.
<p>Love the wood burned scales! Great idea!</p>
Nice work! I LOVE the wood burning on the snakes and drilling holes through each piece is a fantastic idea. One of ours (after many hours of play) eventually broke. <br> <br>I'm so glad you posted the pictures and I bet you are going to have very happy nephews on Christmas!!!
<p>Really cool snakes. I really like the paint jobs.</p><p>I was inspired to make my own, but made it flexible by putting a strip of cloth down the center, internally. <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-Toy-Snake/">http://www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-Toy-Snake/</a></p><p>Thanks for the great Instructable!</p>
<p>This is what I was looking for for a looooong time. I am actually going to use this to make a dragon neck and it's tail</p>
very cool good job
Very cool project! I should make one for my little cousin. Your boys are so adorable, by the way
This is awesome!
Ooooooops almost forgot! the snakes are so cool! I'll bet the kids loved them! Thanks for sharing. <br>sunshiine
Thank you! My boys are loving their new creations! I will check out the water challenge.
Thanks! The snakes are awesome! <br>Sunshiine
I think this would qualify for the Water challenge because you mentioned water colors! They could use some help over there to reach the top tier, I am out of ideas to help. Hope you consider entering! Thanks. Sunshiine
You should enter this in the Copycat Challenge! http://www.instructables.com/id/Copycat-Challenge/
Nevermind! I see that you are the one running the challenge so I entered it! Thanks for the head up about the challenge.
Can I do that even without a picture of the one I copied?
These are AMAZING. you're always so clever.I think you should make these &amp; your bed bug warmers for Xmas/birthday gifts, hint*hint*
Thank you and these would make great gifts. And.....I know the perfect kids!!!!
Amazing! I'm so impressed you made these yourselves instead of buying them. Really nicely done.
Thank you! It was such a fun family project.
Your boys are lucky to have you! &nbsp;Not many women (or men) would take their children to an interactive snake exhibition.<br> <br> I've always loved reptiles. &nbsp;Whenever I see a snake, I<em> still&nbsp;</em>want to catch it! ;-D<br> <br> Great work, btw!!! ;-)&nbsp;
Thanks! I have always loved reptiles too. I loved catching snakes when I was a kid so I knew when I became a mom that I wanted my kids exposed to that kind of stuff! It also helped that my uncle owned a pet store and let me handle snakes when I was little!!
omgosh... that would've been a dream-come-true for this (still) tomboy!

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Bio: Hi, my name is Jen! I'm a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator ... More »
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