Paper Plate Zoo Animal Crafts

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Creating zoo animals out of paper plates is a fun, inexpensive activity for children that allows them to express their creativity. This exercise also presents children with an interactive way to learn about animals. With a few coloring tools, a pair of scissors and some glue, you can help your child create an entire zoo of paper plate animals.

Cutting and Coloring

  • The first part of this project requires the help of a parent, guardian or teacher to ensure the child's safety. Using one paper plate per animal, cut out the basic shapes of a variety of zoo animals. You may also want to consider cutting out just the head shape of an animal. This presents a larger surface area for your child to color, which can then be turned into masks. To do this you will cut out the shape of an animal's face and cut holes where the eyes would be. If you want to take this craft a step further, cut out the mouth area to allow children to talk through the masks. Once you have cut out all the animal shapes or masks, allow the child to color it. Crayons, markers and colored pencils work well but you will probably want to lie something underneath the area where the child will be coloring because the child will want to color their animal to the very edge of the plate.

Gluing

  • When the child has finished coloring, glue popsicle sticks to the bottom of the animal figure or mask. If you created the shape of an entire animal, the stick will allow the child to move the animal around in play without disturbing the delicate material of the paper plate. Do the same on each of the masks you created so that the child can easily bring it up to his or her face to look through. Use popsicle sticks that are larger than normal. They will provide extra support for holding up the paper plate.

    You and your child can also glue colored construction paper objects onto the mask. This is a great way to create silly looking masks that children will enjoy sharing with their friends. You can cut out funny mouths with teeth and different shapes of ears. Hats are another accessory that can be glued to both the masks and the full animal figures. Help the child glue these pieces on and clean up any access glue so that it does not interfere with any of the other artwork.

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