Elementary school is a tough time in the lives of many children. Most kids report a lot of boredom at school. They hate homework and would rather be playing outside. Although recess is fun, most of their time is spent doing some things that they find boring. Perhaps this is a good idea given that some kids will end up doing a job they don’t like! However, shouldn’t elementary school be a time when kids have some fun? Obviously you need to teach them some critical skills, but it is also important for them to enjoy themselves. One way to do so is to encourage their creative side. If kids are given an opportunity to express themselves and control a creative product you will find that they enjoy school much more. Regular creative projects will dramatically change the way elementary school kids think about learning. Because most kids love animals it is a good idea to integrate this love with their creativity. Although most kids don’t know how to draw animals they can learn to color them. Described below are some of my favorite animal coloring crafts for elementary school.
1. Animal coloring books. Find fun animal coloring books that provide an array of different animals for the students to color. Don’t just settle for the same old animals; look for coloring books with exotic animals. This not only provides some variety, but it also provides a great learning opportunity. The children will learn a great deal about new animals and their environments. Dinosaurs are also a very popular animal among young children. Find out which animals the kids like and provide them with coloring books specific to their interests.
2. Create your own animal contest. Have the children color various animals in whatever way they like. If a child wants to color a monkey purple allow them to do so. Then cut up various parts of the colored images. Cut the body parts off of the animals and place them in a pile on a table. Then have the kids assemble animals out of the parts. The final product will be a remarkable and weird compilation. This exercise usually really gets the kids laughing as they create funny and weird animals.
3. Coloring environments for animals. The kids in your class are probably used to coloring animals but they might not be used to coloring the environments in which animals live. If you want to teach the kids something about animal habitats this is a great exercise. Split the class up into groups and have each group color a large panorama of a landscape. Place different landscapes and habitats in different parts of the room. Provide pictures to the students so that they have a general idea of the appropriate colors. Then cut out the animals the children have been drawing and attach them to the habitats. The finished product is an attractive image of a wildlife scene that can teach the children a great deal about their favorite animals. It will also help to teach them the importance of preserving habitat.
As you can see, when it comes to coloring and animals for elementary school children there is no limit to the creative ideas out there. Try brainstorming to come up with your own animal coloring craft ideas. Ask your students for good ideas-sometimes elementary school kids are the best source of ideas for teaching methods. Try different activities and figure out which ones really excite your students. A good animal coloring activity can really improve the level of enthusiasm in a class.