This activity is all about doing your own thing, making your chameleon whatever color or combination of colors you want. The benefits of this craft are numerous; the peel and stick foam requires children to peel the backing off which is wonderful fine motor practice, and placing the shapes and fitting them together is just like a puzzle. Children use their spatial skills too. That is why I was so excited when my 6-year-old and our younger neighbor loved this mosaic craft for preschool. You can do this craft as a group project or as a free choice activity after reading the book. I would suggest free choice because the nature of this craft means you can make the chameleon how you want it and some preschoolers will take a lot of time, others will add on four shapes an eye and be done, and that’s great!
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I have used Leo Lionni’s books in my classrooms for decades, they appeal to children and have gentle but important lessons about friendship, emotions, and bravery. A Color Of His Own is one of my favorites for preschool because it teaches children about camouflage, about loneliness and connection. There is, of course, some color recognition in there too.
Gather your materials. You will need sticky back foam in various colors, our chameleon master ( or of you are talented you go for it, I am not), a pencil, scissors, some sticky back googly eyes, and a muffin tin ( or a few for a class) for the pieces.
Start by tracing our master ( print here) onto a piece of paper. I didn’t want the eye to be included ( I wanted the children to have the freedom of making their eye placement choice) and I wanted the background to be white. You could possibly find a different master online, but this was the best one I could buy and offer for a printable here. It worked for us. I then photocopied the one tracing.
Next cut the foam into shapes, for more developed fine motor skills and children who have more patience go smaller, for children just starting to develop these skills make the shapes big, so they feel more successful at covering the chameleon. Stress to the children that they can leave the white area if they want, it’s their chameleon.
Pink was a popular color at our table!
Look at those fine motor skills.
I loved that the foam could bend for the tail.
Add an eye.
All done – notice even with older children I didn’t stress “filling it in” this is THEIR creation and we should be sending them the message that they are free to create it and have autonomy in creating any craft and art.
If you like this craft and book combination, you will love the circle time activities I have created to go along with popular children’s books too. Check out my e-book Little School for great lessons, tips for teachers, and more!