Elephant Paper Bag Puppet Art Activities

Getting started: I like to begin paperbag puppet art activities by sharing the beautiful photographs of elephants in the black and white photography book by Gary Heery called Zoo. Two other wonderful books to share with my students are: The Story of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff or The Blind Men and the Elephant by, Annie Mitra.

Art Techniques: Drawing
Ages: 5-8

About this project: To familiarize the instructor with puppet making, you might want to look through the book Puppets and Masks by Nan Rump. Students will be delighted with the results of these adorable elephant puppets. Have fun!

Materials needed:

* White drawing paper (25cm x 35cm)
* a selection of colored construction paper
* scissors
* Pencils and erasers
* Oil pastels
* Brown lunch bags
* White plastic glue


Part 1

1. Show how to draw an elephant face on white paper.
2. Show how to draw the trunk, large ears, legs and the tusks.
3. Cut out the head of the elephant.
4. Demonstrate blending oil pastels, and repeat colors throughout the composition.
5. Draw the tummy, legs and tail on separate paper, and cut out.

Part 2

1. Put hand in brown paper bag so that can open and close the bottom.
2. Glue head on to the bottom of bag. Glue the tummy under the head.
3. Add legs, tongue and tail.
4. With especially fast workers, I have them color in the back of the elephant paperbag puppet while other students finish up.

Save this in a notebook of art lesson plans for children. That's what I do.... remember elephants can be any color a child might imagine. Another good paperbag puppet that elementary aged children like making dinosaur paper bag puppet art activity.

Art Therapy Ideas: Most elementary art activities are a great way to start an art therapy session. The elephant paper bag puppet is a great way to stimulate a child's imagination. Go over some of the character traits of a elephant. They' strong and have a great memory.Have your young client speak in first person, and be the elephant. Where would he/she like to go? What sort of adventure would the elephant like to go on? What would the elephant like to say to other members in his/her family? Is there anything special the elephant remembers that he/she never told anyone? It would be helpful if the therapist had another animal puppet and used it to create a dialogue. When you have the art piece speak, it's a gestalt art experience. To get more information on this topic, you can to refer to the book by Janie Rhyne called The Gestalt Art Experience: Patterns That Connect.