As part of our home education work we have been looking at rainforest animals, and my daughter is preparing a project on big cats and their habitats. Crafting is always a great way to get the children engaged in their learning and we have been busy making a couple of animal based crafts.
Last week we made a paper plate lion to tie in with World Lion Day and this week we have made a sloth to complement our rainforest work.
Making a Paper Plate Lion
We are big fans here of paper plate crafts – they’re usually pretty simple to set up but appeal to a good age range. For our lion we drew out the nose and mouth and added googly eyes before adding colour to bring him to life.
Scrunching tissue paper for the lion's mane
To create our lion’s mane, we set about tearing and scrunching up tissue paper. We used orange and yellow, but you can, of course, use any colours. It was really interesting watching the children do this and it reminded me what a good workout for those fine motor skills scrunching paper is! My eldest at almost six was pretty proficient at tearing the paper and scrunching up, buy my middle one was less good at this – she was sort of twisting the sheet of paper which made it harder to tear, and then scrunching the paper into the tiniest balls! She soon realised that it would take an awfully long time to complete her lion if she continued scrunching into tiny balls.
More Lion Activities
When we had finished our lions we had a go at trying to draw one using the excellent "learn to draw a lion" tutorial page. I’m a terrible artist but I think I managed a reasonable lion and Emma certainly enjoyed drawing hers.
Learning to draw a lion step by step
We have since completed this simple worksheet about lions and it will form part of her wider project work and will replicate some of the prompts for the other big cats she wants to learn about.
There’s a lot more lion-themed activity sheets available here.
One of the animals we have been learning about is a sloth – they’re such wonderfully curious animals and my oldest two seem very fascinated by them. We made some simple sloths by using our footprints. To make your own footprint sloth, simply draw around your foot onto a piece of card. The toes are the head of the sloth – so add on his features such as eyes, nose and mouth. Then cut four strips of card to add to your sloth for its arms and legs. We covered a cardboard tube with green crepe paper and let our sloths hang from it – it’s a cute craft and we have a whole family now using the children’s different feet sizes.
Footprint sloths hanging from loo roll branches!
More Sloth Activities
Like the lion drawing tutorial, we tried the learn to draw a sloth tutorial.
We also created a rainforest picture using the cut out images. I like using the cut out images as it’s always interesting to see where the children’s imagination takes them. We chose our animals from the huge collection of animals here and birds here.
Emma, at four, tends to just stick them onto another piece of paper but Daniel was very particular about his design. I was asked to go out of the room and then ushered back in once he had finished. He had given thought to where he put each animal and had drawn in some trees too. It will be interesting to repeat the activity with him in a week or two when we have learnt more about the different layers of the rainforest to see if he added those in.
A very special rainforest picture
This is a guest post from Sarah B. Sarah is a home educating mum to three children aged 5, 4 and almost 2. She blogs at Let Them Be Small where she shares details of their home education journey as well as different activities that they do, the resources they use, the books they read and anything else that forms part of their home education journey.
You can find a list of all our guest posts, here.