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Creative Dolphin Paper Crafts for Preschoolers: Two Ideas

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 3/2/2012

Introduce preschool children to one of the nicest creatures in the sea with these two preschool dolphin paper crafts. Read on to learn how preschoolers can design their own paper "ocean background" with a dolphin cut-out glued on top and create paper bag dolphin puppets to use in role play.

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    Meet the Dolphin

    Many preschoolers are interested in learning about dolphins, as these ocean mammals are known for being intelligent, playful, and friendly. Teachers can enhance their teaching with crafts to help keep students engaged.

    Before starting these crafts, provide the children with some basic information about dolphins: what they eat, how they breathe through a hole on their heads, and how they "talk" to one another with sounds. Explain that dolphins are smart enough to follow commands and do tricks. Show the preschoolers some pictures or videos of dolphins in their ocean habitat.

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    Instructions for Paper "Ocean Scene" with Dolphin

    Preschool children can gain a clearer picture of where dolphins live by making this paper ocean craft. Because the background is blue, the drawings will show up better if done in colored chalk rather than with crayons.

    Materials needed:

    Blue construction paper (one piece per child)

    Dolphin cut-out made with gray construction paper (one per child)

    Gold glitter

    Colored chalk

    School glue


    1) Give each preschooler a piece of blue construction paper, which represents the ocean background. Show the children how to cover the bottom two inches of the paper with a coating of school glue.

    2) Allow the children to take turns shaking gold glitter onto the glue. Pour any excess glitter onto a paper plate so that it can be re-used. Explain to the class that this part of the craft represents the ocean floor.

    3) Give each child a dolphin cut-out, and instruct the preschoolers to glue their dolphins onto the paper background. Children can either position their dolphins in the middle of the "water" or with the dolphin's head sticking up above the top of the paper (breathing in air at the water's surface).

    4) Pass out pieces of colored chalk, and ask the students to add more sea creatures and plant life to their blue backgrounds. Some examples of sea creatures that are easy to draw include small fish, starfish, crabs, and jellyfish.

    After the ocean pictures have dried, these preschool dolphin paper crafts can be displayed on a bulletin board so that parents can admire the works of art detailing the dolphin's environment.

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    Instructions for Paper Bag Dolphin Puppet

    Preschoolers love to engage in puppet play, and these paper bag dolphin hand puppets give students the opportunity to imitate dolphin sounds and movement. These preschool dolphin paper crafts are ideal for encouraging interactive play.

    Materials needed:

    White paper bags (1 per child)

    Gray crayons (1 per child)

    Wiggly eyes

    Cut-out in shape of dolphin beak (1 per child)

    Fin cut-outs (1 back fin and 2 side fins per child)


    1) Give each child a folded paper bag. Holding the bag so that the folded bottom is facing upward, show the children how to fold the corners of the bag's flap inward to form semi-rounded edges. Assist as needed, securing the folded corners in place with tape. This rounded portion of the paper bag will be the dolphin's head.

    2) Ask the preschoolers to color their bags on both sides with gray crayon. Give each child a set of wiggly eyes to glue onto the dolphin's head.

    3) Hand each student a dolphin beak cut-out, two side fin cut-outs, and one back fin cut-out. Ask the children to color these cut-outs with gray crayon. Assist the preschoolers with gluing the fins onto the sides and back of each paper bag and gluing the beak onto the bottom of the head.

    4) After the glue has dried, show the children how to slide one hand into the bag and use their fingers to move the dolphin head up and down. Cover some tables with blue cloth, and allow the children to crouch behind the tables and make their dolphin puppets swim across the "ocean".

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    These crafts can be planned as part of extended units on mammals or ocean life. Children will enjoy sharing their newly acquired knowledge of dolphins with their families.

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