elephant mother with calf

Pachyderms on Parade

Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae. There are three distinct species:

  • African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana)
  • African forest elephant (L. cyclotis)
  • Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)

The most noticeable features of the elephant is a long trunk which is called proboscis and large floppy ears. The elephant uses its trunk for many purposes; breathing, drinking and spraying water, and grasping objects. An elephant's trunk can make powerful twisting and coiling movements as well as delicate tasks such as cracking a peanut shell. The trunk of an adult elephant can lift up to 770 lbs (350 kg). When the elephant swims underwater, the trunk is used as a snorkel to breath air.

Throughout history elephants have been objects of worship and subjects of stories and song. In China, the elephant (chia yen) is considered to be one of the Seven Treasures of Buddhism. The white elephant,considered a sacred animal, is believed to have announced the birth of Buddha, Siddhartha Gautam in May 563 BC.

Hindu mythology includes Ganesha, the Elephant-God. Ganesha has many names, faces and purposes. The most prominent elephant gods are:

  • Ganapati: lord of the tribe
  • Vigneshwara: controls all obstacles
  • Vinayaka: a prominent leader
  • Gajanana: elephant faced person
  • Gajadhipati: Lord of all elephants
  • Lambkarna: A long eared being
  • Lambodara: pendant with large belly
  • Ekadanta: has only one tusk
  • Gajavadana: an elephant face
    Shoorpa-Karna: small ears
  • Chaturbhuja: has a red-complexion and rides upon a mouse. This deity has four hands. Three of which carry a Pasha (rope), Ankusha (a curved spear) and Modaka (a sweet pudding dish). The fourth hand gestures a message of help and protection.

Materials To Keep On Hand

Paper Trivia: Did you know that you can only fold a sheet of printer paper in half seven times? Give it a try. It doesn't matter how thick or thin the paper is, once you get to the seventh fold, the paper will not bend or budge.

Sun catchers. To create a translucent, stained glass ornaments effect, apply a bit of lemon oil to the back sides of paper ornaments to create a.

Hang the ornaments on trees, in windows, anywhere bright colorful decorations are desired.

Construct a large paper-tree for the wall with shades of green construction paper. Draw a large tree on a sheet of easel pad paper to tack onto a wall or other flat surface, then decorate with paper ornaments.

  • Types of Paper:
    • Construction - many colors
    • Copier - many colors
    • Tissue
    • Crepe
    • Cardboard
    • Cardstock - many colors
    • Tracing
    • Water-color
    • Drawing
    • Onionskin
    • Paper tubes - TP tissue, paper towel and gift-wrap
    • Foam craft sheets - many colors
    • Magnet sheets - Make refrigerator magnets
    • Stiff Stencil - Paint repeating patterns on items, embroidery, latch-hook rug patterns
    • Felt sheets - Make filled or layered ornaments
  • Some Mediums & Tools to keep handy for the creative process.
    • Colorful Markers - fine to thick point
    • Wax Crayons - stock up around school sales
    • Water color sets - and plastic tablecloths
    • Chalk - many colors
    • Colored pencils - many colors
    • Tempura finger paints - primary colors - mixing to discover is half the fun
    • Paint brushes - fine tip to standard school size child's brush size at least.
    • Straws - paper not plastic
    • Tooth picks - age appropriate
    • Sponges - cut into shapes or purchase for blotting paint shapes
    • Needlepoint, embroidery thread and stretcher hoops
    • Puffy paint and glitter - to draw words, images and shapes on cloth
    • Wine corks
    • Celluclay - A handy pulverized paper product that resembles clay for paper mache'
    • Modeling clay - reusable, come in colors, good for making molds
    • Pottery clay - Only if you expect to use a kiln
    • Silicon molds and release spray
    • Wooden shapes - to paint for ornaments and gifts
    • Decal sheets for window decals
    • Cloth scrap pieces left overs from sewing
    • Clay modeling tools - ll sorts, combs, forks, dental picks, anything to make interesting cuts and patterns
    • Plain tee shirts