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Mendo Lake Family Life

If I Only Had a Brain

Oct 02, 2016 12:00AM

The scarecrow is a popular American icon, but its usefulness has spanned the globe for centuries. The first scarecrows recorded in history were found along the Nile River in Egypt and were used to prevent quail from ravaging wheat fields. In ancient Japan, farmers created these ragamuffins by hanging old fabric scraps and meat and fish bones to bamboo poles, and then setting them on fire. In America, the scarecrow reached beyond crop-laden fields and found its fame in one literary work that later leapt to the big screen. In 1900, L. Frank Baum penned the classic novel The Wizard of Oz, which featured a witless scarecrow whose greatest desire was to have a brain. As he and his friends sought to appease the wish-granting wizard, Scarecrow used newfound wisdom to overcome the group’s obstacles and was later recognized as the “wisest man in all of Oz.” Follow the directions below to make your own scarecrow.

Beau the Scarecrow


  • Brown paper bag
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Paper plate
  • Glue
  • Black marker
  • Ribbon
  • Glue gun

What to do:

  1. Draw and cut an 8-inch triangle from the paper bag to create the scarecrow’s hat.
  2. Fold yellow construction paper accordion style into 1/2-inch folds. Open paper flat and cut along the folds to create strips for straw hair.
  3. Place paper plate bottom side up. Glue hair randomly to one edge of the plate.
  4. Glue hat over the hay hair, allowing some hay to show around the lower, outer edges
  5. of the hat.
  6. Draw and cut a 1-inch triangle from orange paper then glue to the center of the plate to create a nose.
  7. Draw and cut two 1-inch circles from pink paper then glue onto the face to create the cheeks.
  8. Use black marker to create eyes, eyebrows, and a mouth.
  9. Draw and cut a 3-inch sunflower shape from yellow paper then glue to one side of the hat.
  10. Draw and cut a 1-inch brown circle and glue to the center of the sunflower.
  11. Cut ribbon into an 18-inch strip. Tie into a bow and attach with a glue gun to the lower edge of the paper plate for the bow tie.   

Denise Morrison Yearian is a former educator and editor of two parenting magazines, and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.