EleCrafts are simple activities for all ages to bring out the artist in you! These crafts can be completed with supplies you likely already have on-hand at home. If you don’t have the same supplies we do, you can easily make substitutions.
- Use markers instead of paint
- Use tape instead of glue
- Look through your recycling bin or in your backyard for materials available to you
We will be introducing a new craft each week in May, including step-by-step instructions — but feel free to use your creativity! We'd love to see what you come up with so share your crafts on social media and don't forget to tag The Sanctuary.
Step 1: Gather your supplies!
To make the base of your mask, grab a few old cereal or snack boxes and some scrap paper. You’ll also need glue, scissors, a pencil, and a couple of straws. If you want to decorate your mask, you might also need markers, crayons, or paint.
Step 2: Create your elephant face
Cut the box open to lay flat. Now we will start to sketch out our elephant face. Asian and African elephants have very different face and ear shapes. Asian elephants have two domes at the top of their head and their ears are generally smaller and more rounded. African elephants have a more flat angular head and larger ears that come to a point. I’m going to create an Asian elephant face mask, so I start by creating the head with double domes at the top. I also gave my elephant a few hairs since often Asian elephants have more hair than Africans.
Step 3: Cut out eye holes
Draw two circles on your mask, about where your eyes will be. These will be the eye holes on your mask. Once you’ve drawn them, cut out the holes. Younger kids may need the help of an adult for this part.
Step 4: Create the ears
Now, sketch out some ears. I’m creating an Asian elephant mask. Many say Asian elephants have ears shaped like India, but in fact they can come in many shapes. Check out some photos of our Asian elephants on Instagram or Facebook for inspiration. I love Minnie’s ears, so I’m making my ears with lots of ripples on the edge and drawing in a fold at the top to mimic Minnie’s. Asian elephants are the only species to have this fold on the edge of their ear. African elephant ears are more flat and do not have this same fold at the top edge of their ear.
Tip: you only need to draw out one ear. Once you cut it out, flip it over and trace to create the matching ear.
Step 5: Make a place for your trunk
Draw a straight line about an inch below the eye holes and cut a slit here for your trunk. You’ll also want to add a small triangle in the middle of this line pointing towards the bottom of the mask. Cut along the line to create the slit and also cut out the triangle to create a small hole. We will come back to this later.
Step 6: Create a trunk
Sketch out a trunk. If you’re using cereal boxes for your mask, you may want to find a lighter piece of paper for the trunk so it will be able to move more easily. The top of your trunk should be the same width as the slit you just cut so it can fit inside. Cut out your trunk and set aside.
Step 7: Decorate your mask
Now would be a good time to add some decoration to your mask before gluing the pieces together. I used my mask pieces as a stencil to create the same shapes on separate sheets of paper. Then I colored in the paper with markers. Lastly, I used some water and paintbrushes to lightly brush over the marker and create a watercolor effect. I then glued these pieces on top of my mask pieces to create the finished look.
Step 8: Assemble
Glue the elephant ears to the mask. While that dries, wrap the end of your trunk around a pencil or marker to give it a more curled shape. Once your ears are dry and firmly in place, slip the top part of your trunk into the slit you created from front to back, just about half an inch or so. Turn your mask over and fold upward to create a tab. Glue this tab down to your mask and allow to dry.
Step 9: Remember those straws?
Glue one straw to one side of the mask on the back. This will be the handle that allows you to hold the mask up. Take the other straw and cut about a 3-inch section. Stick the straw through that triangle hole we cut earlier so that it’s under the trunk and sticking out a little on both the front and the back.
Step 10: Move the trunk
Hold up your mask and blow through the shorter straw piece. Watch your elephant's trunk go flying. Add some elephant sound effects for added fun.
Step 11: Share your mask!
Put on a play with your elephant mask for your friends and family. Share a picture or short video clip of your mask in action on social media and tag us! We’d love to see your elephant masks.
Don’t forget to recycle your paper and cardboard scraps!
Elephants are herbivores meaning they only eat plant foods. Elephants can eat over 500 species of plants from different types of trees and grasses to thorny plants or succulents. At The Elephant Sanctuary, we also feed our elephants fresh produce and each elephant has their own favorite fruits and vegetables, just like people. Tange’s favorite food is watermelon while Ronnie prefers bamboo. You can read about each individual elephant, including their favorite food, at elephants.com/elephants.
Step 1: Gather your supplies
A collage is any piece of art made of various materials glued or adhered in some way to one surface. With this in mind, we will need a few things to create our collage:
- Construction paper, scrap paper and/or old magazines
- Glue or tape
- Crayons, markers, or pencils
Step 2: Start with an elephant
First, we need a very hungry elephant to eat all of this food. You can draw your elephant in the center of your page or you can cut out a picture of an elephant from an old magazine, Trunklines newsletter, or print a picture from online.
Step 3: Forage for food
In the wild, elephants forage for food up to 18 hours a day. We’re going on our own foraging mission to find pictures or other representations of food acceptable for an elephant to eat. Remember, elephants only eat plants. I’ve cut out all of the plant food pictures I could find in my magazines and also drew some food shapes onto construction paper.
Step 4: Assemble your collage
Use glue, tape or some other material to adhere your pictures to your base. You can have all of your items overlap or you can decide you don’t want any of your pieces to touch at all. I prefer not to have any whitespace, so I filled up as much of the space as I could. Can you spot the elephants in my collage?
Step 5: Show it off
Show off your collage to your friends or family members and show them what you’ve learned about elephant diets. Then take a picture of your collage and tag us on social media. We’d love to see your creation!
Step 1: Choose your box and your elephant species.
For your shadow box base, you’ll need any cardboard box you have around your house. A shoe box or shipping box will work great.
You’ll also need to decide what type of elephant you want to create a habitat for. I chose an African savanna elephant. I found a picture of this elephant in an old calendar, but you can draw your own elephant or print one out from online.
Step 2: Get outside for supplies!
Look around your yard — what can you find that will simulate an elephant's natural habitat? I was able to find pinecones, grass clippings, flowers, twigs, seed pods, etc. Think about the type of habitat you want to create. I will be creating a savanna, so I need items that look like grass and small bushes, and I only need to show maybe one or two trees. If you’re creating a forest habitat for an Asian elephant, focus more on items that could represent trees in your shadow box!
You’ll also need scissors and glue or tape to assemble your shadow box.
Step 3: Prep your box background.
Before I began glueing things inside my box, I knew I wanted to create a nice sky background.
You can use crayons, makers or paint for this or you can create a sky collage with old magazines. You could even wrap your box in gift wrapping paper!
Step 4: Assemble your habitat!
Use what you’ve found to create a habitat. Add grass and trees and bushes. Add layers and textures. You can add a sun or clouds or even other animals! Don’t forget to add your elephant to the scene as well.
Step 5: Share your masterpiece!
Share your shadow box on social media and tag The Elephant Sanctuary! We’d love to see what you’ve created.
Step 1: Gather your supplies!
For this craft, you’ll need an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll, glue, and scissors. The rest of the supplies are up to you.
I had construction paper, googly eyes, paint, markers, and pipe cleaners on hand. But if you don’t have those things, no problem! You can use crayons, yarn, or tape to cover your toilet paper roll.
If you don’t have construction paper you can use old magazines, newspaper, or even regular printer paper that you can color.