Some craft projects for preschoolers stand out above the rest. This tee pee craft made out of waffle cones is one of them. My preschool class made this craft on “H is for House” day. It was also our last time to meet before Thanksgiving so we killed “two birds with one stone”, so to speak, and made a Native American House (Tee Pee) as we learned the story of the first Thanksgiving.
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When you have your children make this craft, you will want to consider their ages and how many kids are involved. As a classroom preschool activity, there should be at least one adult helper for every 3 children for them to be involved in the whole process. If you don’t have that, I suggest preparing the top of the tee pees in advance and bringing them for the children to enjoy completing the preparation. That is what I did.
Older children can do so much more for themselves; they will enjoy doing the tops, too.
Tee Pee Craft
1. Clip the bottoms and tops of the waffle cones.
- Tops: use scissors
- Bottoms: pinch off bottoms with your fingers to make the bottom edge even and make a small entrance to the tent. Keep trying to stand it up as you even it off. If it topples over, pinch a tiny bit more off till it does stand. The cone is so brittle, using scissors will take too much off the bottom. Pinching works best!
2. Pre-test the size of the opening at the top of the cone. If two pretzel sticks do not fit in it at the same time, gently increase the size of the hole.
3. Melt the chocolates in a microwavable bowl or melting pot.
4. Dip the top of the cones in chocolate. Insert two pretzel sticks about 1-2″ long. Press them against the chocolate so that they stick. Lay them on their side to harden.
5. Take the waffle cones, after the tops have solidified, and dip the bottoms in the bowl of melted chocolate and then in a bowl of either colored sunflower seeds (pictured here) or sprinkles.
6. Lay them on waxed or parchment paper until dry.
7. Place a tee-pee on our display mat at the end of the stone walkway and you have a nice little scene!
Supplemental Learning: Depending on the tribe, Native Americans lived in a variety of styles of houses: Tee Pees, Longhouses & Pueblo Homes