Thursday, October 6, 2016

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Elephant Art Project & Thailand Lesson

E is for Elephant! When I visited Thailand, I was amazed by a lot of things...the brilliant temples, amazing food, and friendly people were wonderful, but they weren't the most memorable thing for me.

I explained to my preschoolers and homeschooling friends that the most memorable part of my trip to Thailand were the elephants! They were incredible! People rode on top of them all the time...we got to ride on them for part of a trip into the mountains, and that was an experience I'll never forget!

Elephants in Thailand are considered good luck and are a major part of their culture. I decided to do an art project with the kids where they could "decorate" their own elephant! I wanted something sparkly and shiny because so many of the fancy things in Thailand seemed to sparkle, but I wanted to let the kids design everything themselves. I decided to use aluminum foil.

Simple Supplies: 

aluminum foil, construction paper, scissors, permament marker, acrylic paint, yarn, wiggly eyes (optional), glue, glitter

Easy How To:

1- In advance, cut out a basic elephant outline from aluminum foil for each kiddo. I drew on this one with a permanent marker, then stacked 3-4 sheets of aluminum foil and cut them out at once.

2- Give your children the aluminum foil elephant and a permanent marker. Let them draw on the ear, a blanket to sit on, and any other details they want to add. I had wiggly eyes available, and about half the kids used them while the other half drew their own eyes on.

3- Let your children make tails from yarn. We had all sorts of different tail designs! Attach the tail with glue.

4- Encourage your kiddos to paint their elephants!

5- While the paint is still wet, add glitter! We had a few that added some extra glue so the glitter would stick in more spots.

We had a fantastic variety in elephants! I love that they got to use their own creativity and have a product that they were so pleased with!  Here are a couple examples:

This one added a crown to her "princess elephant" and a star because "it looked cool!"  I also love the grass and eyelashes:

This one had "alien eyes," a "crazy tail," and was "pooping dirt!" You can probably guess it was a kindergartener boy! I also love that its trunk could spit dirt AND hot lava:

They were all really wonderful and it was so fun to talk about the letter E, elephants, and Thailand (one of my favorite places ever)!

I'm also sharing this as part of All Done Monkey's 31 Days of ABC Activities! Be sure to pop over for more alphabet learning ideas!

And here are a few more resources for learning about Thailand! You could use them in a lesson on Thailand, Asia, or just for fun!

1- I love this video about how silk is made! Thai silk is incredible and the process used to make it is astounding:  How Silk is Made.  The silk actually comes from the cocoon the silk worms spin!

2- Shadow puppets are an ancient art tradition in Thailand! I love this free shadow puppet template from the British Museum!

3- Kids in Thailand play lots of games that don't take any special tools and can be played anywhere!   Crow Takes Care of Eggs is kind of like tag meets hide and seek.  You can see more games from UNESCO.

Happy Educating, Carla

I may share at any of these parties!

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