Dino sculpt!

Craft a wood-and-paper pteranodon inspired by Alexander Calder.

You'll Need

  • Wooden clothespins
  • Colored construction paper
  • Floral wire or pipe cleaners
  • Markers or paint
  • Small googley eyes
  • Glue stick
  • Safety scissors


60 minutes

Learning Stages

These creatures were inspired by a wire-and-wood dog made by American sculptor and artist, Alexander Calder. Kids will love how the clothespin head makes the sculpture interactive.


Start with a piece of construction paper that’s about 12” x 3”, folded in half to make a 6” x 3” piece. Using the folded edge for the base of the wing, trace a wing shape for kids to cut out. Now kids can draw designs on the wings. Since the Pteranodon will be viewed from all angles, make sure to decorate both sides of the wings.


Have kids color or paint the outside of the clothespin to match the wings. Pinch the clothespin open and color the inside of the mouth red. Once the head is dry, glue the eyes on the sides of the clothespin, just above and in front of the spring.


Thread your floral wire or pipe cleaner through the spring that holds the clothespin together. Center the wire and twist it 3–4 times around the bottom of the head (opposite the eyes). These twists make the Pteranodon’s neck. Now center the wings between the wire ends and twist again to hold the wings in place. Spread the wire ends apart so they become the legs.