Guest Post By Allison McGuire
Family crafting time provides a valuable opportunity to learn (and bond) together. Try one of these four craft ideas based on beloved storybook characters.
Photo Credit: : Pexels
When you spend time reading or making crafts with your children, you’re doing more than just keeping them busy. You’re engaging their young minds and laying a foundation that will help them improve their motor skills, communicate their feelings, and become independent thinkers. Crafting also provides an opportunity to build memories as you enjoy quality time together.
If you’re looking for crafting ideas, why not take inspiration from a classic children’s book? Here are a few of our favorite paper animal crafts that tie into popular stories and films:
1. Colorful Caterpillars
Try this fun, multi-colored craft after readingThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Your child will enjoy recreating the main character in the book as well as learning basic shapes and colors.
- Draw eight circles — one in each color of the rainbow and another one in white for the head. Allow your child to cut out the circles with child-friendly scissors.
- Help your child glue the circles together, overlapping each end while asking them to name the different colors.
- Let the child draw a face on the head and glue it to the caterpillar.
- Add pipe cleaner antennae and legs.
- Surround your caterpillar with colorful butterflieslike these to show what he’ll become one day!
2. Roaring Lions
This is a perfect project for all those little ones who love Disney’sThe Lion King! Kids will get the chance to practice their fine motor skills, counting, and comparing sizes and colors.
- Cut out one large circle for the face and four medium circles — two for the ears and two for the snout — out of light brown construction paper.
- Cut out one medium circle for the nose and two small circles for the eyes out of black construction paper.
- Trace and cut a medium circle out of white construction paper for the mouth.
- Glue the ears to the top of the face.
- Glue the nose to the bottom center of the face, then glue the eyes onto the face as well.
- Glue the snout circles on top of the nose so that it has a crescent appearance.
- Glue the mouth on top of the snout.
- Use darker colored puff balls or feather puffs for the mane. Simply glue them around the back of the face, and you’ve got a fun, ferocious lion!
3. Bunny Ears
Bunny ears are an easy and fun craft to tie in with Beatrix Potter’sThe Tale of Peter Rabbit. Try this project around Easter, so your child can don the ears for Easter Egg hunting!
- Cut a strip of paper long enough to wrap around your child’s head. You may need to staple a couple of pieces together for a good fit.
- Allow your child to decorate the strip with crayons, markers, or fun embellishments likewashi tape.
- Cut two large ovals for the ears in white and two smaller ovals in pink for the inner ears.
- Glue or tape them all together, and your little one can hop their way into a fun afternoon!
4. Elephant Puppet
Jean De Brunhoff’sBabar series is a classic story that’s withstood the test of time. For a contemporary craft, all you need is a paper lunch sack and some gray construction paper.
- Using atemplate, cut out two large floppy ears and a long trunk from gray construction paper.
- Glue the ears to the sides of a paper lunch sack.
- Glue the trunk to the flap of the sack, which will serve as the elephant’s “mouth.”
- Attach a couple of googly eyes, and allow your child to color or decorate the bag as they like.
- Show the child how to insert their hand into the bag and make the elephant speak.
- Make two or three of these puppets and act out scenes from the Babar books. Or make a whole lunch bag puppet zoo and invite the neighborhood kids over to put on a play!
About Allison McGuire:
Allison McGuire has an accomplished history of building online marketing and ecommerce programs. As the Director of Marketing at Paper Mart, she has launched a variety of new marketing channels which have propelled the 96-year old business to the next level. Under her leadership, the company has gained national exposure on the Today Show, become a corporate sponsor for the Boys & Girls Club, partnered with Make-A-Wish LA, and received a 2017 Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service Excellence.