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Preschool Craft: Cardboard Animals

Materials: Cardboard, Paint, (or Markers), Scissors, Googly Eyes, Glue, String

Goal: Process Art, Color Exploration, Independant Creative Play

My earliest creative memory was in kindergarten. Each student drew and decorated their favorite animal on a large piece of cardboard, and the teacher cut each one out and hung them on strings. I finished my dolphin drawing last (it was a tough call, choosing a dolphin over a giraffe, but I knew I could get the dolphin shape right), but remember being so proud of it. I pretended to be a mermaid for the rest of class and hitching a ride on my dolphin to explore sunken ships.

I hoped my preschooler would enjoy the project too. Since he is only three, there was a lot of indecisiveness around the animal we picked. I made an executive decision and drew the shape for him. He selected green and purple to paint with. I grabbed orange to make the dolphin a secondary color scheme, and white to add value variation (light and dark shades of colors).

He painted directly from the jars of paint, mixing the colors on the cardboard. We played with different sized brushes and with different marks. The only rules were: no paint on the floor and the dolphin needed to be filled in to cover the cardboard.

Once dried, I cut out the dolphin and strung it so that it can ride on my preschooler’s shoulder. My son added the google eyes as a finishing touch. He promptly donned his dolphin and galloped through the house yelling “neigh.”

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