I saw this awesome post using foam and a rolling pin on Dollar Store Crafts ages ago. I filed it away under things to do. When my son suggested we make a Leopard for “art project time”, it popped back into my head! We had so much fun , and found some great books at the library to go along with the theme!
- Gather your materials. You will need a rolling pin, some sticky back foam, 2 pieces of construction paper, a marker, some brown paint, scissors, glue, black foam or paper, tape and some aluminum foil.
- Start by drawing an outline of a leopard. I drew a few before getting it right. Set aside.
- Cut spots out of your sticky back foam. Make them irregular.
- Next cover your rolling pin in aluminum foil. Tape the edge down.
- Peel off the backing and stick the foam onto your rolling pin.
- Brush your paint onto the foam pieces.
- Grab your leopard and roll!
- Add more paint and roll again.
- While your wee one is rolling, cut a nose out of black foam or paper.
- Cut the leopard out.
- Add glue to the leopard and add the eyes and nose.
- Glue onto the 2nd piece of paper and let dry.
“Deep In The Jungle” by Dan Yaccarino is a deceivingly deep book. While reading it to my son before nap today I was taken aback by how the Lion and the circus man in the book could be symbolic of so many historical and social things. However the surface story is about a Lion , the king of the jungle who is enticed out by a man who promises him a better life of fame in the big city. Soon the lion is in the circus, whipped, caged and with no power or fame. After eating the man and running back to the jungle he finds his subjects in cages as well. Although he was not a kind ruler before he saves his subjects from their captor. Seems all very heavy, but my son loved it. It is long and I was impressed he sat interested for the whole thing, he even said “Animals sad in cages!” proud moment for me!
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper grocery bag or large piece of paper, paint, a brush or roller, 2 googly eyes, some different color foam , a plate for paint, scissors and glue.
- Cut open the bag so it’s a one long piece and draw a snake. I taped it right to the table.
- Start by choosing your paint colors, I was itching for my son to pick something bright but he chose brown and orange- and I am so happy he did I think it looks great. Pour both colors into a plate.
- Start painting.
- While your child is painting ( or before you start if that works better for you) ask your child what shapes they want to put on the snake, or decide yourself if they are too young. Cut large pieces for little guys that are still mouthing things. We don’t want anyone to choke!
- Time to glue the pieces on! I put the glue on in dots all along the snake.
- Cover each glue dot with a shape. Older children should be doing a pattern !
- While they are adding the shapes, cut out a tongue from red foam.
- Add the eyes and tongue.
- Let dry and cut out!
“The Sea Serpent and Me” by Dashka Slater is a sweet dreamy book. A little girl finds a sea serpent in her bath tub and they become friends all the while knowing he belongs in the sea. She promises to take him back but they keep finding reasons to wait. When they do finally go and he returns to the sea you can’t help but get a little lump in your throat remembering all those times you have had to say goodbye even though you didn’t really want to. The illustrations by Catia Chien make the whole book feel like a dream.
- Gather your materials. You will need some fun toy animals, a plate, paper,markers and paint.
- If you want you or your child can draw some scenery.
- Spread some paint on your plate and dip your animal in.
- Start making some tracks.
- Add the next paint color and more paper if you want and keep going.
“Is Your Mama a Llama? “ by Deborah Guarino is a classroom favorite, I don’t know many preschool teachers who can’t recite most of this book . Readers follow Lloyd the llama as he riddles his way through a bunch of animals until he find the one he calls mom. I like the mix of animals in this book, a little different than your average zoo or farm collection.
My son has been talking a lot about tigers lately, so it was no shock to me when I asked him what he wanted to make for art and he replied “Tiger?”. He loved making this and even though we didn’t cut eyes out, he has been playing with it like a mask , pretending to be a ferocious tiger!
- Gather your materials. You will need some orange and black paper, a paper plate, some orange paint ( or mix red and yellow like we did), scissors, googley eyes, and glue.
- Start by mixing your orange paint
- Paint your plate- we started out with the dainty brush,but finished with hands.
- While our child is painting, cut a nose and mouth.
- As well as some black stripes – we used 8
- And ears out of the orange paper.
- Add the stripes on either side by first adding glue
- Then the paper.
- Next add the mouth and nose.
- My son was begging to add the eyes before we finished the stripes, so we did it before we did the head stripes, it doesn’t really matter what order you do the gluing in.
- Add the stripes on the top of the head too.
- Next up, the ears, add two stripes on each ear.
- Glue the ears on and let everything dry.
“If You See A Tiger” by Richard Powell is a cute book for babies and young toddlers. It’s a lift the flap book that encourages your child to do what the book suggests if you come across various animals. My son really liked this book when we read it a year ago when he was 18 months old.
“The Loudest Roar” by Thomas Taylor was given to me at my baby shower, recommended by a friend who’s son loved it. Sure enough my son does too, especially if I roar really really loudly along with Clovis the little tiger with the loudest roar of all. It’s a good book when toddlers are learning about when we can be loud and when we should be quiet.
- Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper , some scrap black paper, 2 googley eyes, brown paint, a pencil, scissors, glue and some crayons.
- Have your child draw the background with crayons. My son drew clouds , the sun and “og” (fog).
- While they do that, draw antlers on the first piece of paper.
- Draw the outline of the moose head on the other piece of paper. I drew an uneven keyhole shape.
- Have your child paint the head with the brown paint. Using a big brush will help get all the head painted with little guys, our dauber didn’t do such a great job, so we took turns.
- Paint the antlers. Let dry.
- Cut out the antlers and head.
- Glue the antlers to the scenery.
- Glue the head on top of the antlers.
- While your child is gluing , cut out 2 ovals from the black paper for the moose’s nostrils.
- Glue the nostrils on.
- Add the glue for the eyes.
- Add the googly eyes. Let dry.
“Moosetache” by Margie Palatini is a absurd book about a moose with an out of control mustache! Kids love this book, they laugh at the poor moose who is quite anxious about his unusual facial hair. The book has a valuable message about accepting yourself and the quirks that make you you.