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Do you have a soft spot for guinea pigs? I do. Last year we bought two adorable young ones by the names of Bob and Lucy for our daughters, and the motivation behind buying them was memories of how much I loved these creatures myself as a kid. When I was young we had several, and of course they had babies and several became many – which was the most exciting thing in the world to an animal-loving 10 year old. We sold the babies to the pet shop lady if we weren’t allowed to keep them and the four dollars per piggy she paid us seemed like a small fortune at the time. I wanted my own girls to experience the wonder of having these pets and also of seeing them have babies (which happens quicker than you might anticipate). As expected, my girls are both absolutely smitten and I’m happy to report that it’s just as amazing as I remembered to hold a day old baby in your hands.
Here is a day old baby, we called him Charlie
This is his brother Bandit, when he was a little older
Unlike their rodent cousins mice, rats and rabbits, baby guinea pigs are born completely covered in fur with their eyes open and they are able to walk around and even eat grass straight away. They grow remarkably quickly, and after 7 weeks ours were getting quite big and were more than ready to leave their mama. Lucy had three babies, and it was sad to say goodbye to them but they have all moved on and found new homes now. She won’t be having any more because we got Bob desexed (which opened up a whole new can of worms as far as my kids are concerned!). We thought it would be kinder for Lucy to not be constantly pregnant and it’s a big responsibility to find good homes for all their babies, so these three were it for us.
These are the three brothers with their dad, Bob, at around 7 weeks of age
When the last of the babies was shipped off to his new home Miss K asked me to make a paper guinea pig for her. Admittedly these paper ones are not the same as the real thing but they are still pretty cute and if you have a kid who’d love a pet guinea pig but don’t want the responsibility of keeping them it might be the next best thing.
To make one you’ll first need to print out this guinea pig template.
Note: for best results use a heavy paper or light card stock that will fit through your printer. This will help for strength and sturdiness.
Cut out the shapes including the slits for the ears, fold two creases along the line of the guinea pig’s back and finally slot the ears into place to hold it together.
There is a mother guinea pig template and two different babies. I’ve made an extra one using an earth coloured card stock to give the mama three babies just like Lucy.
Miss K was very pleased with them!
More animal ideas for kids
- Make some simple rock chicks
- Create an easy frog puppet using paper plates
- Set up a tadpole to frog observation tank
- Make a Noah’s Ark boat from a cardboard box
- Use a paper towel roll to create a cardboard tube frilled neck lizard
- Make a simple toilet roll fish