- Craft making is a creative, yet educational activity for children.arts and crafts image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com
Craft making does more than just keep children busy. It fosters creativity, allows for exploration and can be used to further explain topics and concepts that have been taught. The crafts provide entertainment, as the materials associated with their creation are fun to manipulate and they allow for self expression. When teaching children about animals, crafts are an ideal extension activity to further their understanding of these beings.
- Children will have fun making this whimsical version of an octopus. Provide the children with paper plates and scissors and instruct them to cut the plates in half. Using light blue or gray paint, have children paint the back side of their plates. When the paint has dried, have them create tentacles for their octopus by cutting eight lengths of crepe paper streamers and attaching them with staples to the straight half of their paper plates. They may use googly eyes and markers to make faces for their octopus to complete the craft.
- Have children use paper plates to make elephants when teaching them about these gentle giants. Provide each child with three paper plates--one large and two small. Have them paint the back side of each plate gray. From pink construction paper, have them cut two circles and glue them on top of the smaller plates. Show them how to attach the small paper plates to the top of the bigger one--making the elephant's ears. Tell them to cut a long, thin strip of gray construction paper and two shorter strips of white construction paper. The gray strip will be glued to the center of the plate, forming the trunk, and a white strip glued to either side of the trunk will form tusks. Above the trunk, have them glue two googly eyes.
- After fashioning these cat masks, children can use them for dramatic play. Help kids cut eye holes in their paper plates. Instruct them to use brown, orange, gray, black or any combination of these colors to paint the back of the paper plate. Have them cut two large triangles out of construction paper in a color that matches the color they painted their plate and two smaller triangles out of pink construction paper. Tell them to glue the pink triangles inside the colored triangles, making ears for the cat. Using glue or staples, they can attach the ears to the top of their paper plate. With markers, children then create a mouth and nose for their cat. For whiskers, instruct them to glue three pipe cleaners to either side of their cat's nose. A craft stick glued to the bottom of the plate serves as a handle to hold the mask up to their faces.