Has your child ever discovered an animal track? Was it in snow or mud? In this activity, kids can turn their favorite animal tracks into art by imprinting on clay. When they’re done, hang the finished pieces on the wall or gift them to someone special!
- Air dry clay (sold in most craft stores and comes pre-made in a bucket)
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
- Toothpicks (optional)
- First, ask your child to think about some of the animals she’s seen in the neighborhood, at the zoo, or even on Wild Kratts. What do you think their tracks would look like? Choose a few animals whose tracks you want to create!
- Take out a small piece of air dry clay and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball, transforming it into a cookie shape. Make one “cookie” for each animal track you’d like to create
- Place the flattened clay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- While the clay is still soft, use your fingers to make different animal tracks. For example, press your finger in a fan shape three times to make a bird track, or press your finger in a paw shaped pattern to create tracks for bears and other pawed animals. You can use your fingernail or toothpicks to create fine lines and details. You can also scratch your initials onto the back!
- Optional: If you want to turn your tracks into ornaments or wall decorations, create a hole near the top of the clay pieces before they dry. After the clay dries, you can string a ribbon or yarn through the hole, and hang or display your artwork.
- Once you’ve created a variety of tracks, set your clay pieces aside to dry.
Become an animal detective: What can you learn about animals by looking at their footprints? Can the tracks tell you if the animal was large or small? A bird or a mammal? How it moves? Look for tracks in nature and try to figure out what animal made them. Snap a picture of the tracks with your phone so that you can compare it to pictures on the internet. Were you right?
This craft comes to you from the creators of Wild Kratts.
Iowa PBS STEAM Activities and Crafts provided by PBS KIDS Parents.