10 Terrific Elephant Crafts for Preschool Activities

| Last Updated: November 20, 2022

Elephants are the largest mammals on land. Their unique flappy ears and long trunk make them a favorite among young children.

Take a look at these ten crafts and use them to anchor lessons that will allow children to explore the world of pachyderms. Children will become aware of how incredible these animals are as they survive in the wild. 

Gross Motor | Listening | Fine Motor

1. Easy Paper Plate Elephant

Photo credit: craftymorning.com

These paper elephant crafts can be customized for every child. Children can choose their preferred color and add designs that suit their taste. 

These elephants are perfect to go with the book “A Parade of Elephants” by Kevin Henkes. As each child holds their elephant craft, they can mimic the movements in the book, such as marching, yawning, and stretching. 

This activity helps children improve their gross motor skills and listening skills. As they cut and paint, they will have an opportunity to enhance their fine motor skills. 

Have children cut out the paper plate as suggested to make this craft. Refer to the pictures on the site for this step. Use a sponge to paint the paper plate and the elephant’s nose.

While waiting for the paint to dry, cut out two circles from the white cardstock. These will become the eyes. Use the black marker to make the pupils in the eyes. Attach these on the paper plate together with the nose. 

Next, decide whether the elephant needs additional designs. Add curly eyelashes and a ribbon or maybe a bow tie or a hat. Let kids be as creative as they like to make their elephant uniquely theirs. 

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Paper plate
  • Scissors
  • Glue 
  • White cardstock
  • Black marker 
  • Paint 
  • Sponge

For more information on this activity, go to CraftyMorning.com

Critical Thinking | Imagination | Fine Motor

2. Balloon Elephant Card

This craft is an ingenious way of using those leftover party balloons. Who would have thought an inflated balloon could pass for an elephant’s head?

Before making the craft, let the children guess what animal the craft will be. Give them clues from vague to a more specific detail until they can guess it correctly. Say to the children, “This animal has four legs” or “This animal is huge.” 

Doing this will allow children to form images in their minds and make intelligent guesses by relating the descriptions to the animals they are familiar with. This will help develop their critical thinking skills. 

Start with deciding the preferred cardstock color for the background. Fold this in half. Next, attach the balloon to the front part of the card with glue dots. Add an ample amount of glue dots to secure the balloon very well. 

Next, cut ears from a cardstock the same color as the balloon. The site suggests cutting these in a heart shape. Attach these to the card, just slightly under the balloon. Lastly, add the googly eyes and some embellishments, if desired. 

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Latex balloons 
  • Large glue dots
  • Colored cardstock 
  • Scissors
  • Glue 
  • Googly eyes

For more information on this activity, go to GluedToMyCraftsBlog.com.

Science | Fine Motor | Cutting

3. Toilet Paper Roll Elephant

Photo credit: redtedart.com

These adorable toilet paper roll elephants are a great way to anchor a science lesson. Use these crafts to talk about elephants in real life. Talk about their habitat, location, food, behavior, and the different species. 

Use videos, pictures, or even books like “National Geographic Readers: Elephants” by Avery Elizabeth Hurt. Use the facts in the book to understand the animals better and realize that these animals thrive in the wild. 

Talk about the safari and how these animals coexist with other animals. Children will increase their knowledge of wildlife while improving their fine motor skills as they make this craft. 

Start with painting the toilet paper roll blue or any color the children like. Let this dry. Next, use sharp pointy scissors to cut out the ears and the trunk (this is best done by an adult for safety reasons). See the pictures on the site for this step. 

Add the googly eyes and use a black pen to fine details such as lines on the feet and the trunk. That’s it. Now your child is ready to display or play with their new friend. 

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Paint 
  • Paintbrush 
  • Black pen 
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 

For more information on this activity, go to RedTedArt.com.

Concentration | Imagination | Listening

4. Elmer, The Patchwork Elephant Craft

Photo credit: thejoysharing.com

Elmer has to be one of the most famous elephants due to his highly distinguishable feature-a and colorful patchwork body. Written by David McKee, “Elmer” was first published in 1968. 

To the delight of young readers, this book became a classic, which turned into a series and sold millions of copies worldwide. 

As children make this craft, their patience and concentration will improve. 

Their eye-hand coordination skills will also improve since they will need to use a chopstick to add the colors and stamp them with precision so that the colors will not mix and bleed. 

Make Elmer by folding a white cardstock in half. Outline the shape of the elephant and cut this out. The result is an elephant-shaped card. Next, squeeze some paint on a palette or the back of a paper plate.

Have children use the back rectangle part of the chopstick to dip into the paint. Let them stamp the elephant starting on the edges of the paper and continue until all of the cardstock is covered with color. Allow this to dry completely before displaying.

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Cardstock 
  • Paints 
  • Chopsticks
  • Scissors

For more information on this activity, go to TheJoyOfSharing.com.

Cutting | Imagination | Listening

5. Printable Elephant Mask

Photo credit: firstpalette.com

This elephant mask is simple to make and can be worn during role-playing or used for a safari-themed party. This craft requires minimal preparation and will provide loads of fun for children to make. 

Head over to the site to download and print the elephant template. The template has three options: a black and white, a gray, and a purple elephant. 

Choosing black and white gives children the ability to customize it by painting or using crayons. If using paint, allow this to dry before proceeding to the next step. 

The colored templates, however, only require cutting. Once the templates are printed, colored, and cut, punch two holes in the edge of the elephant’s head. 

The site recommends reinforcing the holes by placing sticky tape over the marks before punching holes. Tie the elastic string that is cut to fit the child’s head. Next, cut out the eyes and attach the trunk and inner ears to complete the mask. 

Children will improve their cutting skills as they make this craft. If using the purple template, consider using it with the book “Don’t Think About Purple Elephants” by Susan Whelan

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Printed elephant template 
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Paint 
  • Paintbrush
  • Elastic string 
  • Hole puncher
  • Sticky tape

For more information on this activity, go to FirstPalette.com.

Color Recognition | Counting | Fine Motor

6. Cupcake Liner Elephant Craft

Photo credit: iheartcraftythings.com

This elephant craft is simple to make and allows children to work independently. It requires them to cut and paste papers, which can help improve their fine motor skills. Children will also learn to follow verbal instructions as verbal prompts are given. 

Glue these parts together with the googly eyes to complete the elephant. This elephant liner craft is simple to make and requires minimal adult assistance. All it needs are cutting and pasting, which will help the children’s fine motor skills. 

Extend this activity by changing the color of the elephant for color recognition. Make several of these elephants and teach children the concept of tallying as they count bigger numbers. 

Let children tally the elephant’s body parts, such as the number of legs, ears, tails, trunk, and eyes. Demonstrate the process on the board before providing the children an opportunity to practice.

Download, print, and cut out the free elephant ears template from the site. Trace these on a gray cardstock and cut them out. Next, flatten the mini cupcake liner. Attach the ears to the back. This part will become the head of the elephant. 

Flatten and glue the regular-sized cupcake liner on a colored cardstock. Attach the head. 

Cut out the rest of the elephant’s body parts from a gray cardstock. Cut out four strips for the legs, a small strip with a bush for the tail, and a curved strip for its trunk. 

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Printed elephant ears template
  • Colored cardstock
  • Regular-sized cupcake liners in gray 
  • Mini cupcake liners in gray 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 
  • Googly eyes 

For more information on this activity, go to IHeartCraftyThings.com.

Fine Motor | Matching | Craftmanship

7. Craft Stick Heart Elephant

Photo credit: ourkidthings.com

Stick puppets are always a hit among children. This craft is simple to make and will enable children to practice their cutting skills as they cut out curved shapes like a circle for the head and hearts for the ears. 

Use this craft to help children recognize upper and lower case letters by matching written letters on their ears.  On the red hearts for the inner ears, write the letters in both forms. Have children match them before they are glued on the gray ears. 

Children may write notes on the back of their ears to practice their writing and copying skills. 

Start with making the elephant’s ears. Fold a purple cardstock or any color choice and cut out two heart shapes. Using the same paper, cut out a strip for the trunk and a circle for the head. Let children practice their cutting skills with this or, for younger children, prepare these ahead of time. 

Next, cut out two smaller hearts from the red cardstock. Glue these on the purple ears. Attach both ears by their pointy ends to make them look like butterfly wings. Glue the purple circle in the center. 

Fold the paper strip into an accordion and attach it to the middle part of the circle. Glue the googly eyes and let this dry. Lastly, glue the elephant on the craft stick.  

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Colored cardstock 
  • Craft stick
  • Googly eyes 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 

For more information on this activity, go to OurKidThings.com

Shape Recognition | Counting | Language Skill

8. Easy Shapes Zoo Elephant Craft

Photo credit: adabofgluewilldo.com

This elephant craft is so versatile it can be used to teach different concepts. There are seventeen different shapes to put together to make this craft.

Children will not only practice identifying the shapes, they can also practice cutting them out. 

Have children sort out the pieces as they identify them. Let children count the different shapes. For example, there are two pink triangles. They can also compare the size of the shapes.

Use this craft to talk about children’s zoo experiences. Ask questions like, “What animals did you see in the zoo? Why do you think they are placed in a cage? What do the animals eat?”

To make this craft, cut out two half circles from different paper colors. From the gray paper, cut out two small circles for the eyes, six thin strips for the legs, tail, and trunk, a square for the face, and a rectangle for the body. 

Cut out two triangles for the inner ears, two small diamonds for the tusks, and one for the tail’s end. See the step-by-step process of assembling this craft through the pictures on the site. 

Once finished gluing all the paper pieces, punch four holes in the paper plate’s top and bottom ribbed parts. Insert several strings to look like bars on a cage and tie a knot to secure these. 

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Paper plate 
  • String
  • Construction paper 
  • Glue 
  • Scissors
  • Ruler 
  • Googly eyes
  • Hole puncher 

For more information on this activity, go to ADabOfGlueWillDo.com.

Fine Motor | Color Recognition | Creativity

9. Button Elephant

Photo credit: bustedbutton.com

This elephant craft is a great way to introduce children to the concept of mixed-media art. This craft uses several mediums and materials, resulting in a masterpiece fitting a spot on the wall. 

Have children make their pachyderms in different colors and designs as presented through the pictures on the site. Have a day of exhibit to showcase all the children’s masterpieces. Create a label for each artwork to make it look professional. 

Outline an elephant on the canvas. The site recommends using a stencil by drawing the animal on a piece of cardstock. Cut this out and trace it on the canvas. This can be done by an adult or have children cut along the lines to practice their cutting and fine motor skills. Next, add a paint color similar to the buttons. Use one shade of color for each elephant. 

Attach the buttons using a hot glue gun. Layer them on top of each other until the whole elephant background is covered with buttons. Use a ribbon for the tail if a tail-shaped button is unavailable. 

Use bigger buttons with a darker shade than the ones on the body. Make the eyes by gluing a black button on white and attaching it with the glue gun. Make several adjustments to the design based on the availability of the controls. 

Add the balloons using red buttons and the grass using green. Add a heart using smaller buttons attached to a heart outline. Ensure all pieces are secure before displaying. 

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Buttons in different colors, shapes, sizes, and designs
  • Canvas board
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint 
  • Paint brush 
  • Pencil 

For more information on this activity, go to BustedButton.com.

Color Recognition | Folding | Creativity

10. Elephant Corner Bookmark

Photo credit: easypeasyandfun.com

This elephant bookmark is an excellent gift for a loved one who is a bookworm. Make several of these in different colors to reinforce the children’s concept of colors. 

For example, make them red, blue, and yellow to teach primary colors. Later on, make the elephant bookmarks in secondary colors. These will help children understand the color wheel better. 

While this craft uses one of the simplest origami folding techniques, children may need assistance folding the paper precisely. Assist by folding the paper with them one step at a time. 

Provide a pre-made corner bookmark for younger children who may have difficulty following instructions and folding the paper with accuracy. 

Make the essential corner bookmark by following the detailed instructions on the site. To make the ears, fold the colored paper in half before cutting to make identical pair. Cut the trunk using the same color of paper. 

Use the black marker to add details, such as lines on the trunk and the ears. Attach these to the bookmark using glue. 

For the eyes, there are three ways to make them. Choose the best option. The first is to use googly eyes. The second is to use a black marker to make black dots. The third option is to draw black dots on white circles. 

Attach the eyes onto the bookmark to complete. Allow the glue to dry before using. 

For this craft, you will need: 

  • Origami paper in r blue
  • Blue colored paper 
  • Black marker 
  • Scissors
  • Glue 
  • Googly eyes

For more information on this activity, go to EasyPeasyAndFun.com.


Elephants are one of the most beloved animals in the world. The ten crafts on this list pack a lot of fun and excitement. They can be customized to fit the lesson and the skill level of the children involved.

They can be used to teach different concepts, as well. Incorporate counting, color recognition, fine motor skills, and shapes into your crafting time. Consider these adorable crafts in class for a safari-themed lesson or to go with your favorite elephant stories. Thank you for stopping by! Check out our other themed activity ideas.

Hi, I'm Amanda! Welcome to Education Outside! Im passionate about educating young minds and helping parents/teachers by providing easy and effective teaching resources. Check out all of my teaching resources on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

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