They might not be cute and fluffy, but many children still seem to love elephants. It would be great if you could wrap one up and give it to him as a gift, but since you can't do that, try indulging his interest in this magnificent creature with some elephant crafts and activities.
An elephant might sound like a tricky animal to draw, but you can do this easily using basic shapes. One circle makes a head, two smaller circles make ears and one large circle makes a big fat body. Add rectangles for legs, a big J for the trunk and small circles for eyes. Show your toddler how to draw her own elephant using these shapes or cut the shapes out for her and help her assemble them and stick them onto another piece of paper.
Talk about how an elephant uses its trunk to pick things up and then turn your preschooler's hand and arm into a trunk by putting a long sock over them. Encourage her to see what items she can pick up using her trunk. Get her to shut her eyes and hold out items for her to feel with her trunk to see if she can guess what they are. Elephants have been know to paint using their trunks, so challenge your toddler to hold a paintbrush in her sock trunk and create a picture -- make sure you use an unwanted sock!
Paper Plate Elephants
Turn a paper plate into an elephant or elephant face. Get your toddler to paint the plate gray and wait for this to dry. Glue on circles cut out of card stock for ears and a letter J for a trunk. Cut out eye holes to turn your plate into a mask or add googly eyes or paper eyes. Alternatively, use the plate as the main body of the elephant and glue on two card stock rectangles for legs, one googly eye, a card stock ear and a card stock curve for the trunk.
Talk to your preschooler about how an elephant walks -- maybe even watch some elephant footage if you have some available -- then attempt to walk around the house as elephants. Use your arms as trunks and lumber from side to side as you walk. Perform some songs and rhymes about elephants and do the actions with them, such as "Nellie the Elephant" and "The Elephant Goes."