13 Adorable Elmer The Elephant Activities

Boy Playing With Paint And Making Elmer Crafts

If your kids love elephants and craft activities, this list inspired by the famous multicoloured hero Elmer is perfect for learning in and outside the classroom.

And who doesn't love the amazing, multicoloured Elmer? Elmer the multicoloured elephant who has put many smiles on many faces, and made us realise that our differences make us special.

So, how about some activities to celebrate that?

Elmer Book Cover

Why Is Elmer Famous?

Elmer is a famous, rainbow-coloured elephant from the book series Elmer The Patchwork Elephant. The books about the multicoloured elephant were written and illustrated by David McKee, and were loved so much that Elmer became one of the most famous elephants of all time, with over 10 million copies of the books sold all over the world.

Over 30 years later, Elmer is still bringing fun and laughs to young children today. Why not make something like Elmer to play with and make the story come alive even more?

Speaking of elephants, check out this fantastic elephant activity here for some (safe) explosive fun, as well as our other fun-filled educational activities for kids.

Have a look at some of the most adorable Elmer The Elephant activities below.

Pot of golden glitter spilling out on to a bright pink surface.

1. Memory Bottles

First up on this list of Elmer activities are these sensory Memory Bottles. By allowing kids to play with the bottle while you read, this will inspire them to talk about what they remember about Elmer The Elephant the next time they play with it.

You Will Need:

An empty water bottle (a smooth, transparent bottle without a label).

Coloured blocks (with colours similar to that on Elmer's patchwork skin, small enough to fit in the bottle).


Glitter (around a spoonful).


1. Place a handful of blocks in the bottle, with the glitter.

2. Fill the bottle with water, at least three-quarters, then put the lid on. Kids can now shake, play and enjoy.

Top Tip: If reading to a number of children, why not try getting each child to pass the bottle to the next child, after each turn of the page?

2. Pretty Patchy Elmer

You Will Need:

A4 Card paper with an outline of Elmer on in black pen.

Black marker pen.

PVA glue or a glue stick.

Coloured paper, cut into squares (2.5cm x 2.5cm would be great).

Googly eyes.



1. Mark a 2.5cm x 2.5cm square grid on Elmer The Elephant in pen.

2. Apply glue to one square at a time, then place a piece of coloured paper on the square.

3. Repeat using different colours in a pattern, until Elmer The Elephant is all coloured in! Then add a special googly eye.

Did You Know? Elephants are said to be better at remembering things than humans? The part of the brain that helps you remember things is bigger in elephants than in humans, meaning it could take them a long time to forget things.

3.Tactile Tissue Elmer

You Will Need:

A4/A3  Paper with an outline of Elmer on in black pen.

Black marker pen.

Coloured tissue paper, torn into strips for scrunching.

Glue stick.



1. Mark a 3cm x 3cm square grid on Elmer The Elephant.

2. Apply glue to one square in the grid.

3. Take pieces of tissue paper, scrunch and place in the glued square.

4. Repeat until the square is covered.

5. Glue the next square and cover with tissue scrunches of a different colour.

6. Repeat until Elmer The Elephant is completely tactile!

Large puppet show of Elmer the elephant and other characters from the book.

4. Special Sparkly Elmer

Number five of our Elmer The Elephant activities offers some great fun if you have some free time (and a little bit of glitter).

You Will Need:

A4/A3  Paper with an outline of Elmer on in black pen (print or copy from one of the books).

Black marker pen.

Special coloured paper (cellophane, shiny or glitter paper, cut into 2.5cm x 2.5cm squares).

Glue stick.

Ruler for measuring.


1. Apply glue to one square on your Elmer The Elephant.

2. Place a coloured square on your glue patch.

3. Glue the next square and stick with a different coloured square.

4. Repeat until your elephant is fully covered!

Two children sitting on the bedroom floor making paper crafts.

5.Make Your Own Elmer Story

With this craft, kids can write a special story then illustrate their favourite colourful Elephant!

You Will Need:

At least five sheets of A3 paper.

A4 paper.

Writing pens.



Colouring pencils or pens.



1. Brainstorm with the children ideas for a new Elmer The Elephant story.

2. When a storyline has been created, write it on A4 paper.

3. Take the five sheets of A3 and fold them in half to create the book.

4. Use a ruler to draw lines for where the writing will go.

5. Write a few sentences in pencil on each page (leave the first page for the front cover) as well as space for illustrations.

5. When happy with the layout and drawings, kids can go over them in pen, erase the pencil markings and colour in.

Assorted craft items such as rainbow paint, colourful beads and glitter.

6. Kolourful Kandinsky Elmer

Our seventh activity really offers a chance for the creative ideas to flow and imagination to run free!

You Will Need:

Coloured felt, cut into 2.5cm x 2.5cm squares.

Coloured felt, cut into small circles (less than 2cm in diameter).

A4 card with an outline of Elmer The Elephant on.

PVA glue.


Allow the kids to stick the squares on in a pattern, then take the circles and glue them in the centre of the squares in a free, random manner. Then enjoy their abstract creations!

7. Milk Carton Elmer

You Will Need:

An empty plastic milk carton.


Coloured tissue paper, cut into squares (3cm x 3cm).

PVA glue.

Googly eyes.


1. Carefully cut the carton horizontally, from the bottom of the handle, straight across so that it can stand on its own.

2. The cut handle will be the trunk, so make sure it's trunk-shaped. Cut off a bit more if needed.

3. Cut the bottom so that it looks like Elmer's feet.

4. Apply glue to each square and stick on in a pattern until your Elmer is completely coloured in.

8. Felt Elmer Ornaments

You Will Need:

Coloured yarn or wool.

Outlines of Elmer The Elephant on card, cut out.

Sticky tape.


1. Tape one end of the yarn to your elephant.

2. Carefully wrap the yarn around the elephant in different directions, until it's fully covered.

3. Keep wrapping so that Elmer The Elephant looks soft and plush.

4. When complete, cut your yarn and tuck in so that the elephant doesn't come undone, then make another!

Did You Know? A baby elephant can stand within 20 minutes of being born, wow!

Colourful sheets of felt paper spread out.

9. Patchwork Portraits

This is one of those activities that kids can use to create lovely work for display, and keep the story of Elmer going.

You Will Need:

Roll of paper.

Glue stick or PVA glue.

Coloured paper, cut into squares (5cm x 5cm).


1. Setting the roll of paper down on carpet and ask each child to lie on it, while you mark an outline of their whole body to colour in.

2. Have the kids stick squares of coloured paper in random patterns on their faces, to colour themselves in just like Elmer The Elephant.

10. Framed Camouflage Elmer

This is one of those Elmer activities which will look beautiful displayed on a wall.

You Will Need:

A spare A4 picture frame with a plastic covering (avoid glass for safety).

A white, silver or gold marker pen.

A black marker pen.

Coloured paper or felt, cut into 2.5cm x 2.5cm squares.

PVA glue.



1. Make an outline of Elmer The Elephant on the plastic in the white, silver or gold pen, then turn over, so it's still seen.

2. Make a 2.5cm x 2.5cm grid on the elephant.

3. Apply glue to one square, then place paper or felt on.

4. Repeat with different colours in a pattern, until the fun camouflaged Elmer is coloured in and ready for display. Then turn over, frame and hang for all to see.

Child holding a bunch of colourful crayons close to their chest.

11.Elmer Role Play Mask

The 12th of our Elmer activities allows fun interaction while the book is being read in a classroom or at home.

You Will Need:

Printed Elmer Mask on card (or draw your own).

Black pen.

Colouring pencils.


Lollipop stick.



1. Outline a 2.5cm x 2.5cm grid on the mask.

2. Colour the squares in a pattern of different colours.

3. Carefully cut out the mask and eye holes for them to see through.

4. Tape the lollipop stick to the back of the mask, for the children to hold while reading.

Young boy concentrating very hard on his drawing. A box of colourful pencils is in the foreground.

12.Glitter Elmer Activity 1 (With Glitter Pieces)

The first of our two fabulously glittery Elmer activities, prepare for some seriously sparkly Elmer fun!

You Will Need:

A4 paper with an outline of Elmer drawn on.

Black marker pen.

Glitter pieces in at least five colours.

A glue stick.


1. Draw a square grid on Elmer, to mark where to apply glitter in patterns.

2. Kids can choose their first square and apply the glue to cover completely.

3. Take a pinch of glitter and sprinkle it all over the square with glue in, until covered completely.

4. Kids can now pat down on the square, to press the glitter pieces down.

5. Shake any loose glitter slides into the middle of the page.

6. Return the loose glitter to its original container, or set aside to be used for another square.

7. Repeat the gluing for the next square, applying a different colour of glitter this time.

8. Keep gluing and glittering one square at a time, until the glittery Elmer The Elephant is fully coloured in!

13.Glitter Elmer Activity 2 (With Glitter Pens)

Part two of this ultimate Elmer the Elephant activity is one of our favourite homages to this brilliant book.

You Will Need:

A4 card paper with an outline of Elmer drawn on.

Black marker pen.

Glitter pens in at least five colours.


1. Use the marker pen to create a grid of squares on Elmer's body, like on the book cover, so that your children know where to apply the glitter.

2. Allow kids to choose their first glitter colour and completely colour in the first square.

3. Keep selecting a different colour to fill one square at a time in patterns until your glitter Elmer The Elephant is complete!

Kidadl Top Tips:

There are a number of printable Elmer The Elephant outlines available online for downloading, which could save you some time!

If you have some googly eyes around, feel free to pop them on at the end for a 3D addition to these fun crafts.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

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Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

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