Laura and Mary encountered garter snakes on the pairie. We have been putting together an animal kingdom chart on the wall, and we added snakes to the reptiles. Then we did a fun art activity making snakes. We followed the directions over at: Danielle's Place of Crafts and Activities.
For advice, I would suggest using minimal amount of paint on the bubble wrap to get a really great effect for the scales. And changing paint color or making a design on the bubble wrap makes it even more interesting. We also added sequins for more design. We would have used glitter, too, if we had any, because it is always fun to clean up after a glitter activity.