Sloths are found in Central and South America and are the slowest mammals in the world. They live in the treetops and can sleep as much as 20 hours each day, National Geographic reports. If you're teaching a class about sloths, there is a range of creative activities for children to do. From preschoolers up to middle-grade, arts and craft ideas abound when it comes to this lazy critter.
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When teaching preschoolers about rainforest animals, you can have the children make sloths out of paper so they gain a greater understanding of what the animals looks like. Print out a template of a sloth, either found online or drawn by hand, and ask the children to colour the sloth and cut around the outline. You can use tacks to make the arms and legs movable and hang the sloths upside down around the classroom or at home. For more real-looking sloths, have the children use small pieces of felt to cover the body area.
Kids can transform ordinary teddy bears into sleepy sloths with a few art supplies. They can use small sticks for the sloth's claws and wool for the animal's long hair. Kids can design a mask for the teddy bear that resembles the face of a sloth and see their favourite bear become a new wild animal in no time. You can also help them make the trees that the sloths cling to out of old poster mailers or strong cardboard as the boot, and cellophane or streamers as the foliage.
Children's creative juices will flow when they are able to create their own clay sloths. Show the kids pictures and video footage of these slow-moving mammals, then give each child a lump of clay to work with. You can supply tools to help with the moulding process and show the children how to sculpt and smooth their designs.
While learning about sloths, kids can explore the animal's habitat by making 3D dioramas. Sloths live in the rainforests of Central and South America, so provide materials that they can use to create the sloth's home. Have them make trees out of paper towel rolls and tissue paper; other materials can include small rocks, sticks and paint to colour the interior of the shoebox housing the diorama. The children can create sloths with fake fur pieces, foam and even painted cotton wool.
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