Thanksgiving Table Top Tipi

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As part of Thanksgiving themed evening, make a Tipi to show how some native Americans built their homes. This activitiy was originally found on an American site :


For each Tipi you will need. I suggest 1 tipi per six:

4 straight sticks, each about 12 inches in length
rubber band or string
cardboard or heavy card stock
1 brown paper bag
markers or colored pencils


Start by discussing what Tipi's are and why they are useful:

Some Native Americans who lived on the Great Plains lived in tipis. These dwellings were typically made of animal hides stretched over wooden poles. Tipis can be disassembled and moved, making them an ideal dwelling for nomadic tribes. In fact, the word tipi comes from the Lakota word for dwelling – thipi.


- First, gather four straight sticks.

- Gather the sticks together and bind them together a few inches from the top with a rubber band or string.

- Spread out the sticks at the bottom to form the frame for the tipi.
- Measure the approximate size of one side of the tipi.
- Cut a triangle out of cardboard approximately the same size as the side of the tipi.
- Use the cardboard stencil to draw four adjacent triangles on the paper bag as shown below.
- Cut out the adjacent triangles all as one piece (see picture attached as a file)
- Cut a door at the bottom of one of the sides.
- Decorate the paper if you want to.
- Crease the paper along the sides of the triangle and fold together.
- Snip just a little bit off of the top, so there is room for the sticks to poke through.
- Put the paper sides on top of the stick frame and tape together.


  • creative
  • Native american
  • Thanksgiving

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