Explore about Wild animals, the Zoo & shapes with this fun Zoo Themed Shape Elephant Craft that uses string or wool to create the cage bars.
Like most children, my daughter loves going to the zoo! They love to see, observe and learn all about the different types of animals that live there. Summer is the perfect time to visit your local zoo, and what better way to bring the fun home than with this adorable zoo animal elephant craft!
E is for elephant and exciting and enormous…all things kindergarteners love. They’re also going to love this elephant in a Zoo craft because it’s such a fun way to learn about shapes too!
Materials Needed for the Zoo Themed Shape Elephant Craft:
- A white 8-inch paper plate
- Wool or string
- Construction paper – Blue, Green, Grey, White & Black.
- A ruler
- Googly Eyes
- Single hole punch
Getting the Zoo Animal Elephant Craft Ready:
The craft has 17 pieces. We used simple shapes – Two 7-inch diameter Semi Circles for the background. One part Blue and one part green.
For the elephant, 1 x 1 inch Square for its head, Tiny diamond shapes for its tusks & tail.
A large rectangle 2 x 4 inch for the body, 4 thin ones for the legs, 1 for the tail and one for the trunk. Two grey circles (1-inch diameter) and 2 pink triangles for the ears.
Learning Activities to conduct before craft assembly:
Shapes & Colors Activity:
Identify all the shapes and colors: circles ( eyes & ears), rectangles (trunk, legs, body), diamonds (tusks and tail), squares (head). Discuss the colors.
1. Sorting: Have the children sort the pieces by shape and size – all large rectangles, small circles, diamonds, etc.
2. Counting: Count how many of each shape and size there are. You may want to write the number on a blank paper.
3. Sizing: Ask the children which are bigger and smaller. Which are the biggest shapes, which are the smallest shapes?
Some younger children may find the cutting & assembly process too long. Suggestion: Have the teacher or parent cut out all the pieces and have the children assemble their elephant. Children ages 2+ can also do the craft if some of the pieces are pre-assembled.
Putting the Zoo Elephant Craft together:
Once all the pieces are cut, create the background. Using a glue stick, paste the blue semicircle at the center top and add the green at the bottom. Let the two papers overlap in the middle. Make sure there is about half inch paper plate border on all sides.
Using a single hole punch tool, make four holes at an equal distance at the top & bottom of the paper plate as shown.
Let’s assemble the elephant next. Assemble the head – Add the pink triangles on top of the circle ears. Then glue these on either side of the square head. Glue the legs and tail on to the body. Stick the trunk and tusks. Glue all pieces together.
Now paste the elephant craft at the center of the paper plate.
Time for some weaving. Take a piece of string or wool and starting at the back of your paper plate wrap it around and around your craft, slipping the string into the holes. If you leave a fairly long dangly end, I find it easier to wrap without the first notch slipping out and you can tie the beginning and end bits together to hold them.
Keep the string fairly tight, but not so tight that it bends the plate.
Tie a knot at the ends on the backside to secure the yarn. Make similar Craft Zoo Animals display for your homeschool or classroom student display.
Do a short research project on the elephant What kind of habitat does it live in? What does it like to eat? What part of the world is it from? Why are Zoos important?
The cutting sticking weaving is perfect for improving fine motor skills in young kids.
Why not teach kids about animals in their natural habitats?
There are so many good books, Youtube read-aloud videos and art project ideas for this in an online search. The zoo isn’t all bad, but different habitat lessons can be so much more rich with things to learn,and they can teach a sense of wonder for our earth, and foster respect and more interest in the animals as living creatures. So we don’t risk teaching kids that these more exotic animals exist just for us to go and look at in a zoo.
I mean, if you were a little one, would this instill respect and kindness for animals, or would it teach that animals are ours to do what we want with?