Chimpanzee 3D Book

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So, this story begins with a bunch of…same thing. When I saw the preview for the Chimpanzee movie a month ago my teacher brain drooled over my popcorn. My brain churned like the caloric, nuclear butter on my fingertips and likely on my jeans. Flashes of chimpanzee projects danced in my head. I started as I often with a topic idea…picking up a pile of books from our library and giving them a special honorary location in our home which may or not be a beat up wooden box that may or may not be covered in dust.

The books sat. And sat. And sat. And sat…despite a few near attempts at interest. I renewed them. I would sit and flip through them, waiting for a customer. No luck. I renewed them again. Several times I would try to reel them in with “I wonder what kind of chimpanzee project we should do before we see the movie?” No takers.

I took some initiative. I hadn’t made a 3D book in years, but had used the pattern successfully in my classrooms with 2nd and 4th graders. I wanted to see if I could remember, and maybe, they’d want to make a Chimpanzee book? A Chimpanzee Report?

Need: 5 or so pieces printer paper, scissors, glue, world peace, 1 piece of construction paper or the like, for a heavier cover. 

Fold the printer paper in half, and cut two slits, about yay big.

Take the pages apart, and push that paper slit through so when you open the paper, it pops out. Glue the first half of the page onto the cover. The next page snuggles up to the other half of the first paper.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. When you are finished, you’ll have a snuggled up, page turner, with an outtie belly button.

Since my kids were not motivated by chimpanzees yet and didn’t draw the 3D piece, I printed off and cut out a past picture of each of them in our 4T Old Navy Chimpanzee Halloween Costume that is still adored in our dramatic play. Pretty sure I will keep it forever. I might sleep with it when I’m in the nursing home. They’ll call me crazy monkey lady and I’ll throw food at them.

NOTE: Glue the picture on the top part of the outtie belly button, and the rest of the picture is free to hover. When the book closes, it will not smash the picture. When it opens, pop goes the weasel…um, chimpanzee, or whatever.

This 3D book sat on top of the Chimpanzee library books another week. Then, one morning. My 5 year old found his picture popping out of  in the blank book. He giggled. He made monkey sounds. He asked to read one of the Chimpanzee books! After we read, I asked him “How are you like a chimpanzee?”

“I like to climb like a chimpanzee.”

“Sounds like a perfect sentence to write on your monkey pop up page!”


Hook, line, sinker…1 down, 2 to go.

I was about to let the Chimpanzee project balloon go. That happens, all the time. No biggie. Sometimes our home projects go in 3 directions, sometimes 2, sometimes 1, sometimes none.

We’re excited to go as a family to see the movie, and go from there. I’ll keep the chimp books around, and encourage the kids to finish the pop-up book to add to their Science Lab Library!  I’ll bribe them with banana bread.

I filed this tutorial under several subjects because you can use it for anything. I think this would be a fun way to send someone a letter or card. If you make a 3D book at your home, post it on the Think Magnet FB page. I’d love to see it!

Rock on, Shelisa

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