Drawing letter animals with your child is a way to not only create a bonding experience, but an educational one as well. Children initially associate the alphabet with visual cues, according to Auburn University. Eventually, they learn to "decode" words when they learn to spell. Morphing letters into animals provides children with entertainment, but also teaches them to associate the letter with the animal, paving the way for easier learning later. Create a letter animal booklet or colouring book for your child using either traditional or digital methods.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Animal photos
- Thin, permanent marker
- Gum or rubber eraser
Decide on the animals each letter will represent. Make learning easier by associating the animal with the letter it starts with. For example, "M" could be "monkey" or "K" could be kangaroo. Select more exotic animals, such as "K" for "kiwi," if you want your child to learn more about the animal kingdom.
Sketch out the plain letters on separate pieces of sketchbook paper, ensuring that each letter has its own space. For the ultimate learning experience, keep the letters upright as they appear in the alphabet so the child will recognise the letters.
Begin lightly sketching the animal shape over the letter. Sketch a pair of eyeballs and notable features of the animal, such as the horns on a bull or the pouch on a kangaroo. Another method is morphing the entire letter into the animal. This is more difficult, as the animal must look somewhat like the letter. For example, a snake can easily look like the letter "S," but it may be more challenging to make an "R" look like a rhinoceros. Another option is to outline the letter so that the inside is not filled. Then, fill in the letter with the pattern found on the animal. For example, the fill in "C" can be tan with black spots to represent a cheetah.
Finish the drawing by darkening the lines of animal shape and any changes made to the original letter. Do not darken the initial plain letter sketch, as this was just a reference for the final piece.
Trace over the darkened pencil lines with a thin, black, permanent marker. This will finalise the piece. Let the permanent marker lines dry for about 10 to 15 minutes before continuing.
Erase the original pencil lines by rubbing the eraser over the entire drawing. This will erase the pencil and leave the permanent marker lines.
Tips and warnings
- Have your child colour in the letter animals, or make copies of the drawings and staple together a homemade colouring book.
- Scan the drawings into a graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Create a new layer by hitting the "Create a New Layer" button at the bottom of the Layers palette. Then, trace directly over the sketch lines with the paintbrush or pen tool.
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