We had hundreds of elephants. We would leave them at restaurants, receptionist desks, and waiting rooms. Great times! I’m talking about our promotional material, before we even knew about guerrilla marketing, it must have been 10 years ago when we announced our summer camps using tent cards and we decided to shape them like elephants. They were delightful and so was the response that we ended up being contracted to do workshops on cardboard elephant construction.
We included a basic class on geometric forms and changing shapes using only 4 cuts. Then one idea led to another and I decided to include the challenge of using a cutout of the elephant ear to create a smaller elephant.
A nesting elephant toy. This was also the perfect activity to connect to a Spanish children’s song:
Un elefante se columpiaba sobre la tela de una araña, como veian que resistia fueron a llamar otro elefante. Dos elefantes…etc
The song translates to: an elephant was swinging on a spider’s web, since they noticed it was unyielding, they went ahead and called another elephant. Then elephants get added one by one:
Two elephants swinging on a spider's web… Three elephants swinging on a spider's web…
When it feels like there are plenty of elephants in the song , then it’s time to start taking off elephants and count backwards.
We’ll be using this activity at an Earth Day Festival in Belton, Texas.
It works great when working with large groups of different ages and abilities. It is a quick activity and something they can continue at home using poster paper from packages. We have used recycled file folders but we prefer cereal boxes for even more of an environmental inspiration. We only need scissors, pens, and imagination. The four cuts I mentioned are:
The next step seems so difficult: crush it! It takes a lot of courage, and it may be painful to crumble this very sharp play pal, but the little wrinkles and added dimension on the legs are worth the risk taking choice. Some of these elephants are photographed standing next to a dime. Let’s see how small can you go. Please don’t forget to link us for credit, this is one of our beloved original ideas. Two beloved original ideas… Tree beloved original ideas…