Tuesday, August 12, 2014

World Elephant Day

Apparently today is World Elephant Day. Here's a post about elephants to celebrate!
A few years ago I let my 3rd graders paint like elephants and it was a lot of fun. Soon after I found out that my local zoo, the Topeka Zoo, occasionally paints with their elephants, Tembo and Sunda. Last month I was finally able to get my kids to the zoo at the right time to see the painting process.

The keepers helped one of the elephants hold the brush in her trunk while she moved it around on the canvas. There was an excited crowd watching and the elephants seemed to enjoy painting. Or at least they enjoyed the treats..... :)

The trip to the zoo reminded me that I wanted to let my 3 1/2 year old try painting like an elephant. The day before school started we finally did it! I taped a paintbrush to a paint stirrer, expecting him to hold the brush in his hand like my students did. That's not what my son had in mind! He stuck the stick in his mouth because he thought that was more elephant-like. He figured out how to manipulate the stick/brush to get the colors he wanted and to make shapes.
 At the end of the painting session, he decided to dip his nose in the paint, which I think is what he pictured all along when I asked if he wanted to paint like an elephant. I forgot to take a picture of the finished painting, but the nose smudges are definitely my favorite part.
It's fun to follow your kid's lead!


  1. Great article and pictures! I think in some zoo they sell the paintings as a fundraiser. Sharing :-)