If your youngster is a little lizard lover, incorporate her fascination into your afternoon craft activities. You can help her create lizard-themed decorations to display around the house and watch her show them off with pride to every visitor who stops by. The best part about these activities is they provide opportunity for creative, fine-motor skill development and sensory exploration.
1. Upcycled Lizard Crafts
Teach your child about creative recycling by making a toilet paper roll lizard at craft time. Use the roll as the body and decorate with paper arms, legs and tail before giving the little guy a paint job. Turn an old egg carton into a bumpy little lizard; tear off the top and divide the bottom into individual egg cups. Tape a few cups together and use nontoxic paint to decorate the lizard. If you have old clothespins headed for the trash, turn them into lizard magnets. Start by painting the clothespin with green puffy paint and then draw or paint on decorative spots and shapes. Use a chenille stick for the arms, one for the legs and one for a tail, and then give the lizard a pair of black puffy paint eyes. Complete this craft by gluing a magnet on the back so your child can show off his work on the fridge.
2. Paper Lizards
With just a piece of construction paper and a package of crayons, your child can create a lizard to hang on the wall. Go one step further and add a card stock name tag to the center, attach it to a ribbon loop and now you have a room sign for your youngster's door. To make a paper lizard door hanger, just give the paper lizard an extra long, curved tail. You can also prepare for the holiday season any time of year with a custom lizard wreath; make a card stock lizard shaped in a circle -- touching at the nose and tip of the tail -- and have your child paint the lizard green and decorate it with red pompom spots.
3. Sensory Lizards
Encourage your child to explore with her tactile senses by incorporating texture into lizard craft activities. Help your child draw a lizard on a piece of craft foam, cut out the shape and encourage her to compare the difference between the texture of foam and paper. You can also make paper alligator cutouts and let your child decorate them with different materials, such as sand and glue, sparkles and cotton balls. For a slightly longer activity, start with a lizard cutout and a bowlful of 1-inch tissue paper squares. Have your child scrunch up each piece of paper and glue it on top of the paper lizard. Voila -- a textured lizard to hang on the wall. One more sensory lizard activity: pull out the green modeling clay and let your child work on her fine motor skills while she molds the clay into lizard shapes.
4. Lizard Treats
Take crafting into the kitchen and bake up a batch of tasty lizard treats. You and your youngster can prepare a batch of lizard-shaped sugar cookies to decorate together with green icing, colored sugars and other decorative goodies. If cupcakes are more to your sweet tooth, whip up miniature cupcakes and assemble them into small lizard shapes. Arrange a row of four cupcakes for the body, and place one askew for the head. Make two cupcake projections from the body for each of the limbs and cut one more mini cupcake in half for the tail. Cover them in a thick layer of frosting and you'll have miniature tear-apart cakes. You can also encourage your child to get his hands dirty with a batch of green-colored crisped rice treats. Mix the ingredients and then cool the mixture to room temperature. Now your child can grab handfuls of the mixture and press it into lizard-shaped sandbox molds (well-cleaned) or lizard-shaped cookie cutters.
- Crafts for Kids who are Wild about Reptiles; Kathy Ross
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