Monday, May 9, 2011


It's my week to teach, so I'm back with more art projects! We are learning about Serengeti safari animals. The kids love it and I love to teach about it. And when I say teach I really mean teach. I don't just mean, "This is an elephant. It has big ears, a trunk, and tusks." I use books from the non-fiction children's section in the library that have wonderful pictures and great facts about the animals. As I flip through the pages of the book so the kids can see the pictures, I tell them facts about that animal. I tell them the tusks never stop growing, and they use their trunks as snorkels when walking under water, and they hug by wrapping their trunk around another's trunk, and baby elephants suck on their trunks just like human babies suck their thumbs. And I tell them the not-so-happy facts as well, like the only enemies of the African elephant are people, and that a charging elephant will stomp to death any animal that gets in its way. Many times I will have a little "quiz" at the end of the week and ask the kids questions about the animals. They love these quizzes. And sometimes I even turn the quizzes into game shows, where they win prizes. It's a lot of fun.

So anyway, today was elephants, obviously. Our art was simple but a huge hit. I found elephant finger puppets online here. I cut them out and cut a hole where the trunk would be. The kids colored them with crayons.
Then instead of using their finger for the trunk, I let the kids pick out a party blower! We put that in the hole and the kids could blow the trunk out.
Now, I know that elephants don't curl their trunks under when not in use, but the kids loved this. I didn't know it when I bought them, but if you blow hard enough, they make a noise. So really, these little elephants can trumpet! (I was apologizing to the parents at pick-up because it can get very loud, especially when a bunch of kids are doing it at the same time!)

Oh, what a fun time the kids had with these today!

Fun Fact: An elephant's trunk has two finger-like parts on the tip. This allows them to pick up small objects, like a berry on the ground or a leaf on a tree.


Becky said...

That is so cute! Good idea, thanks!

Keren said...

I really like your description of how you "teach" kids. I do the same with my girls. Children are so interested, I find that sometimes they are just so "hungry" to learn more.
I loved the craft. I'll try it all out!

Betsy said...

Thanks, Keren! Animals are my favorite thing to teach the kids. I always learn something new myself!

Tabeer said...

Thanks for sharing d craft idea.will b replicating soon

Christina said...

My little kid and parent book club is reading the early reader Uncle Elephant by Lobel. The characters trumpet VOOMAROOOOM! to welcome the dawn. I am excited to use this idea. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Very cute! Thank you for sharing!