The hippopotamus is one of the largest land mammals on Earth and is be found in the rivers and lakes of sub-Saharan Africa. Teach your children all about this African animal by helping them create hippopotamus paper crafts. By making their own hippos out of paper, children learn about these beautiful creatures and use their completed crafts to teach others.
Paper Bag Hippo
Paint a regular paper lunch sack grey with acrylic craft paint and allow it to dry completely. Use the bottom of the sack as the head of your hippo and draw or glue paper cutouts of eyes, nostrils and mouth onto it. Attach two white rectangles of construction paper under the flap of the bag to make teeth. Lift the flap and draw or glue on a pink paper tongue. Give your hippo ears by cutting two circles out of grey construction paper and gluing them to the top corners of the fold that makes the hippo's head. Glue a tail to the back side of the paper bag.
Cardboard Tube Hippo
Gather together two empty toilet paper tubes, a few sheets of grey or lavender construction paper, glue and markers. Cut one of the toilet paper tubes in half for the hippo's head and leave the other tube whole. Cover the sides and ends of both the whole tube and half of the cut tube completely with construction paper and glue the smaller tube, which makes the head of the hippo, on top of the larger tube near one end. Draw eyes onto the sides of the smaller tube, the hippo's head, and draw nostrils onto the covered end of the tube. Cut out two tear drop-shaped ears and glue them on to the back of the smaller tube. Cut out a small triangle and glue it on as the hippo's tail. Use four toothpicks, pieces of wooden dowel or rolled up pieces of construction paper for legs and attach them to the bottom of the hippo's body.
Paper Heart Hippo
Great for a Valentine's Day project or a gift for Mom, this paper hippo craft is made using different sized heart shapes. To begin, cut two hearts out of grey construction paper, making one heart slightly smaller than the other. Overlap and glue the two hearts together with the pointed ends up and the smaller heart behind the larger. This shape serves as the hippo's body - the curves of the hearts form its legs. Cut a circle and a large oval about twice the size of the circle, out of the grey construction paper. Lay the oval horizontally and glue the circle to the middle of it, leaving about half of the circle protruding from the top of the oval to form the hippo's head. Draw eyes and a smile onto your hippo's head and cut out four small heart-shaped pieces of paper to use for the ears and nostrils. Slightly overlap the hippo's head with the larger heart on the hippo's body and glue it down. Finish your hippo by gluing a tail, a strip of paper with a heart cutout glued to the tip, to the outside of the smaller heart on the hippo's body.
Paper Hippo Mask
Perform an online search for hippo clip art or visit the Nick Jr. website (Resources) to download a printable template of a hippo's face. Print out the hippo's face onto a piece of grey or lavender card stock or, if your printer cannot handle thicker paper, print it onto regular paper and glue it to a sheet of card stock. If you printed the template in black and white, colour in the hippo's face with crayons or marker and cut it out. Complete the hippo mask by gluing on a Popsicle stick handle or poke a small hole on both sides of the mask and thread a piece of elasti string through it.
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