Animal Adults & Babies


How do pets or wildlife care for their young? Discover how young animals change as they grow!


1. What animals fascinate you? Or what creatures are you studying in science? Find out how animal parents take care of their babies. Show what you’re learning about animal life cycles and their growth from birth to adulthood by creating miniature versions. You may want to use pictures as a reference—head, body, and leg proportions usually change from babyhood to grown-up!

2. Decide which body parts you need for the mama or dad and baby. Almost all animals have a body, head, legs, and many have tails. Work on two paper plates, one for the adult and one for your baby animal. Follow these directions for each creature. Make them as realistic as possible!

3. Roll Crayola Air-Dry Clay in your hand to form a body. With your fingers, pinch the top of the clay to form a head or roll a ball and attach it to the body. Form facial features using a toothpick or craft stick. Make ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.

4. Roll out a snake-like piece of clay to form legs. Will your animal be standing or seated? Make sure the legs are large enough to support it! Attach legs by scratching the spot on body and leg with a toothpick. Wet it with a drop of water and press the pieces together.

5. What is missing on your animal? Does it need a tail, mane, whiskers, trunk, or paws? With Air-Dry Clay, it’s easy to make even very fine details.

6. Repeat this process for your other animal. Air-dry your figures for several days.

7. Cover your painting area with newspaper. Choose realistic colors of Crayola Tempera Paint for your creatures. If you use several colors, let each one dry before adding the next. Remember to rinse your brush when you change colors. Air-dry the paint.

8. Explain to your classmates why you chose these animals. Describe how the babies look and the changes and amount of time it takes before they are adults.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Modeling Tools—Use the least dangerous point or edge sufficient to do the job. For example, craft sticks, plastic knives and forks, and cookie cutters can cut or carve modeling materials.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points


  • What are the differences between wild and domesticated animals? How are their life cycles and habitats different?
  • Group your animals into those that share a similar habitat such as farm or rainforest. Create a diorama suitable for all of the creatures who live in that setting.
  • On a map, identify where in the world your animals live in their natural habitats.
  • Assessment: Children accurately portray the baby and adult versions of the animals (proportions, markings) and describe the creature’s life cycle.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brush
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • Air-Dry Clay
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • Party Express paper plates
  • toothpicks - wooden
  • craft sticks
  • paper towels



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students research growth patterns and life cycles of animals.

  • Students choose one animal to represent in a realistic baby and adult form.

  • Students orally present information about their animal’s life cycle and describe differences between the young and adults.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards