Happy Hippo


Hunt for Happiness---during the third week in January or any day---with this delightful hippo mask. Paint it with a color that makes you smile!


1. Read about hippos in children's books and on the Internet. While you read, think about the way hippo faces look, and make sketches with Crayola® Colored Pencils.

2. In the book A Picture for Harold's Room: A Purple Crayon Adventure, Harold uses a purple crayon to design a picture of a whole environment. Find information on how color influences perceptions. What effect does an unusual color have on the way you see places? Does an unusual color make you look a little closer at familiar objects? Combine the ideas of hippos and unusual colors to come up with an exciting hippo mask.

3. Shape white Crayola Model Magic into a hippo's face that is large enough to fit your head. Look closely at your sketches as you design the mask. Use Model Magic to make the hippo's nose protrude, to add ears, and to shape other details.

4. Carefully use Crayola Scissors to cut away eye openings.

5. Place the hippo mask on a crumpled ball of newspaper to maintain its rounded shape. Dry.

6. Cover a table with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Tempera and Paint Brushes to paint your mask in an unusual color, such as purple or magenta. Add details with other colors. Dry.

7. Use Crayola School Glue to attach elastic to the sides of your mask. Dry. When you're not wearing your mask, use this band to hang it on a wall.

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.

Costumes & Masks— CAUTION: When children wear hand-crafted costumes and masks, make sure the crafts do not obstruct the child’s vision, hearing, or impede movement. Do not use feathers, fabric, or raffia on wearable costumes and masks because these items do not pass costume flammability tests. Wearable masks are those held in place on the face with elastic, yarn, or other materials. Keep away from open flames.

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.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.


  • Students with special needs work together or use adaptive equipment to shape and paint their masks.
  • Create another hippo mask in a different color. Which one do you like better? Or make a variety of animal masks. Write your own play, using the masks as costumes for the characters.
  • Older students do more research about the psychology of color. What colors are calming or soothing? Exciting? Based on your research, what colors would you paint your classroom? A concert hall? A skateboard park?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brushes
  • Colored Pencils
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • Model Magic®
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • elastic
  • container(s) of water



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Special Needs


  • Language Arts
  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children read about hippos in children's literature and research information about hippo faces.

  • Students consider the effect of color on their perceptions of unrelated objects.

  • Children design a hippo mask that accurately reflects the animal's anatomy and paint it in a fanciful color.


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