Education Category: Creative, General
Ages: 4-8, 8-12, 12-16
Make an Animal Collage
Mix it up and match it up! An elephant-alligator? A zebra-giraffe? This
imaginative project for preschoolers combines sorting skills, shape
recognition, scientific exploration, and the visual arts into one fun activity.
Additionally, this activity will help your young child to better understand
basic math skills such as the part-to-whole relationship.
This mixed up animal collage will encourage your child to create unique
combination animals with attributes that are all their own. This project can
be as basic or as imaginative as your child makes it. The materials
suggested will give you a start but try searching your house for festive
animal embellishments to make this activity even more creative.
What You Need:
- Construction paper sheets
- Shapes cut from construction paper (use a variety of colors and sizes)
- Paint : Crayons, markers, or tempera paints
- Optional: craft feathers, felt, foam, sequins, fabric scraps, tissue paper, textured paper or any other decorations your child may like
What to Do:
1. Start by cutting a variety of shapes from the construction paper. You and your child can do this
together, cutting as many different kinds of shapes as you like.
2. Show your child a few pictures of animals or read a book with her that has animal illustrations.
Ask questions such as, “What shapes can you find in that animal?” or, “Can you find a triangle in
the picture of a cat?”.
3. Place the paper shapes on a table or other suitable work surface. Have your child choose shapes
that look like parts from different animals. For example, rectangle horse legs, an oval pig body, a
circle dog head, a triangle for a cat nose and squares for elephant ears.
4. Ask your child to arrange the individual shapes into a mixed up animal. You can explain that
it is like putting up a puzzle. The child can make any kind of mixed up animal and name it!
5. Then have your child glue the shapes onto a piece of construction paper to create the animal
collage. Explain what a collage is - you can simply say that it means to glue different things
onto a surface to make one whole picture out of many different parts.
6. Invite your child to add embellishments to her mixed up animal. Any multitude of materials can be
used. If your preschooler loves to paint, try tempera paints and a thin brush or give an assortment of crayons.
7. Other ideas include craft feathers glued onto the paper as wings, fabric or felt to add texture, or crumbled tissue paper as fur.
Try doing this excerise many times. Each time ask your child to combine new and different animals to
create her collage. Have her create a name for the new mixed up animal and decide where it
might live, what sound it makes, and what it would eat.
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