Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project, easy elephant crafts.
As the world’s largest land mammal, there is a lot to love about elephants.
They, along with humans, apes and dolphins, are the only animals with self-awareness.
They are highly emotional and even grieve for lost family members. The only other animals that do this are humans.
These fun elephant crafts are the perfect way to celebrate World Elephant Day (August 12) and learn a little more about these amazing creatures.
But first, some fun facts.
ELEPHANT FUN FACTS
- The African elephant is the world’s largest land animal. The average height for males is three metres and the average weight – six tons! They only reach their full size at 35-40 years old. Elephants can live for 60-70 years. An Asian elephant, Lin Wang, made the Guinness Book of Records for being the longest living elephant. He died in 2003, aged 86.
- There are three species of elephant – the African Bush Elephant, the African Forest Elephant and the Asian Elephant. The African elephant has much larger ears, some say the shape resembles the continent of Africa.
- Their trunks are heavy too – more than 181 kg. Elephants can use their trunks to pick up something as small as a grain of rice and as large as a tree. They can even use them to shell nuts and peel bananas.
- The trunks are also used to pick up water (they can hold up to eight litres) for drinking (up to 60 gallons a day) and showering. They are used as a snorkel when swimming and to give elephant hugs. They can also be used as a weapon for self-defence.
The Biggest Land Mammals Need a LOT of Food
- Elephants require around 150 kg of food each day and can spend around 16 hours a day eating.
- Wild elephants live in herds made up of female elephants. Only male calves form part of these herds and leave to live the solo life of a bull elephant when they are around 15 years old.
- New mothers will select specific members of the heard to help their raise their babies, which they carry for 22 months. These helpers are known as ‘aunties’.
- Elephants communicate in several different ways. They cry when they’re sad and squeak or trumpet when they are happy. They also use touch, scent and body language to communicate as well as vibrations in the ground (seismic signals) which they detect through their bones.
SOME SAD FACTS
- 90 per cent of African elephants have been killed (mainly for their ivory tusks) in the past century. More are being poached than are being born. They are on the vulnerable list. Asian elephants are endangered.
- Elephants use their tusks for prising bark off trees or digging for roots to eat or to defend themselves. Humans use the tusks to carve for decorations.
EASY ELEPHANT CRAFTS
The Bottle Elephant
It’s so easy to transform a plastic bottle, such as the kind laundry detergent comes in, into an elephant. It’s a great way to tick the reuse/recycle box as well.
The handle is a ready-made trunk. Cut the narrow top off and then some oval shapes on each side to define the legs. Use the cut-outs to create ears. Add paper eyes and a rope tail.
The Blower Elephant
Party blowers create the perfect trunk and have the bonus of being able to ‘trumpet’ – just like an elephant.
Cut a simple elephant shape from thin card. Create a small hole in the centre and push the blower into it. Wooden pegs make great legs and googly eyes are always fun – though you could easily draw on eyes or make some from paper cut-outs.
The Handprint Elephant
Who would have thought a handprint could transform into the world’s largest land mammal?
This is one of my favourites and it’s ridiculously easy.
The Paper Elephant
Some paper, scissors and glue are all you need to make these cute elephants. Start by creating five paper rolls (four for legs and one for the head). If you fold an A4 sheet of paper in half one way and then the other, you have four equal rectangles to roll for the legs. Create the head by making another roll from half a sheet of A4 paper. Use the other half to cut large ears and a rectangle for the trunk. Glue it all together and add some eyes.
The Paper Plate Elephant
A few clever cuts can easily transform a paper plate into a cute elephant face. Use the cut out for the trunk and colour as you wish.
Take it a step further and use the whole plate, some large paper ears and a cardboard roll for the trunk to convert the paper plate elephant into a fun toss game.
The Night Light Elephant
I made this cute night light for my grandson a few years ago.
I attached four tin cans (the legs) to a large (baby formula sized) tin.
Leftover hose became a trunk. I inserted some wire so I could bend the trunk upwards (said to bring good luck). A large foam ball, cut in half, makes the head.
I created a collar, between the head and body, using clear plastic from a container. This allows the light to shine through. I shaped plastic trays into ears.
You can use copper wire string lights and place them inside the elephant’s body. I used a small lamp and created a hole at the back of the elephant for the cord.
Craft glue holds the whole thing together. I covered the plastic collar with paper to protect it and then spray painted the whole elephant with silver paint.
I hope you enjoy making some of these easy elephant crafts.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria