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Crafts And Conversation: Happy Clothespin Giraffe With The DUCK Lab

Get crafty with the DUCK Lab! Each Friday, trained research assistants from the UNCG Psychology Department’s DUCK Lab will guide at-home crafts for children ages 3 to 12. Parents can join too to learn fun facts about crafts that foster age-appropriate skills or learn about the DUCK Lab’s nonprofit child development research projects. 

This Friday, the DUCK Lab invites all preschool-age friends to join Faith and make a happy giraffe! Follow along as Faith takes you through each step and see how you can use clothespins to build a giraffe that looks like the ones at the zoo!

Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity for children and parents to talk about emotions, which can be difficult for young children during frustrating times. Read on below for more info. about the connection between these types of activities and age-appropriate developmental milestones.

We also invite you to check out our child development research opportunities, which are now modified for the virtual world! Please click here to learn more or sign up to participate with us.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Yellow construction paper (pre-cut by adult: one large circle, one small head, one tail)

  • Markers (black, brown, orange)

  • 2 regular clothespins

  • 1 small clothespin

  • Glue-dots

  • Googly eyes


  1. Use markers to put “fur” on the giraffe body (yellow construction paper circles) and the 3 clothespins.

  2. Put the googly eyes on the head and draw a nose and mouth underneath.

  3. Glue the giraffes head to the small clothespin using glue dots.

  4. Use glue dots to attach the giraffe’s tail to the large circle.

  5. Clip on the clothespins (2 regular clothespins on the large circle for the legs and 1 small clothespin between the small circle and the large circle for the neck).

The DUCK Lab: Happy Clothespin Giraffe

Relation to Developmental Science:

The Happy Giraffe grants parents the opportunity to practice talking with their children about something they likely struggle with regulating in early childhood: feelings and emotions. Expressing emotions can be challenging for young children, as they might struggle to put their feelings into words during frustrating times or successfully control their emotions. For children, learning and practicing how to talk about how they are feeling or being able to explain their feelings is something that takes time and patience. Nevertheless, parents can help by intentionally talking to their children about the different types of emotions and how to express those emotions, such as by asking children “How did you feel when you were playing with your friends?” or “How did you feel when your friend did not share their toy?”

*Great for preschoolers, but fun for older kids too!

The DUCK Lab is a partner in the nonprofit Child Development Research Center in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They conduct studies of social and cognitive development with 2- to 12- year-olds. Families who participate in their research studies are volunteers in the Greensboro community who generously offer their time to help support research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

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