Eight Arms & Counting


What’s unique about an octopus? Dig out some facts, use a little imagination, and bring these surreal creatures up from the sea!


1. Octopuses are solitary creatures. They have lots of ways to protect themselves. They can make themselves flat. They can change colors to match the ocean floor. They can make themselves look big to scare away enemies. Octopuses can shoot out black liquid to temporarily blind their attackers. Some can even change color to sport bright spots and designs! Now that’s really protective coloration!

2. Imagine your very own colorful octopus. Shape a handful of white Crayola Model Magic into an octopus’s elongated head. To make a colorful octopus, knead color from a Crayola Washable Gel Marker into white Model Magic. To marble the color, mix it in just a little. For an even color, mix more.

3. Roll eight tentacles (arms), each with one wide end and one tipped end. Make suckers if you want along the tentacles’ bottom. Attach the wide ends to the body by pressing the damp Model Magic to itself. Air-dry your octopus.

4. Decorate each octopus arm with markers. Try fun shapes such as circles, squares, swirls, stars, and triangles. To create a plaid, draw lines one way and others crossing them. Display your colorful creatures along with a report about their lives.

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.


  • Research the different functions of the octopus’s unique features such as its sharp beak and prickly tongue, changing head and funnel, and tentacles and suckers.
  • Write a story or poem about mother octopuses. They care for their eggs. Sadly, after the eggs hatch, the mother dies.
  • Octopuses are found around the world including in the Mediterranean and near Australia and British Columbia. Find these places on a map and learn about how these different geographic climates affect the octopuses. Which octopi live nearest to you?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Gel Markers
  • Model Magic®



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • Less than 1/2 hour
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students identify the unique characteristics of the octopus.

  • Students fashion a model of this unique sea creature.

  • Students imaginatively decorate their model octopus.


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