Begin by giving each student 4 toilet paper rolls and a paintbrush. Tell the students that these will become the legs for their cows. Place a container of white paint at each table. Have the students paint all of their toilet paper rolls white. Now set them aside on old newspaper and allow them to dry. While they are drying, give each student a half of a sponge and a pair of scissors. Ask the students to cut their sponge into an odd shape that will be used for the spots on their cow. The students may need help if safety scissors are not sharp enough to cut through the sponge.
Now give each student a 2-liter soda bottle and white construction paper. Using a hot glue gun (adult use only), cover their soda bottle in construction paper. Once the student's bottle is covered, place black paint at each table. Have the students dip their sponges in the black paint and add spots to the white construction paper on the bottle. There will be wet paint on all sides, so you will need to place the bottle on old newspaper (preferably standing upright) while it dries. Once the white toilet paper rolls are dry, they may also add black spots to them and place them back on the newspaper.
All parts must have time to dry, so you may need to complete this second part on another day or at a later time in the day. Begin by using the hot glue gun to attach the toilet paper rolls to the bottom of the soda bottle. Then have the students cut a piece of black yarn to the length of their choice for the tail. You may choose whether to have the students glue the yarn on with all-purpose glue or whether to glue it with the hot glue gun.
This cow craft is just the beginning! Another great idea to accompany learning about milking cows is to read It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. Then give each student a blue piece of construction paper. Ask the students to fold their paper in half. Next, walk around and put a few drops of white paint on the crease of each child's paper. Ask the students to re-fold their paper and press on it to spread their paint. Once the pictures have dried, the students can decide what their spilt milk picture looks like. This is a fun and EASY way to incorporate cows into a craft.
Some other farm crafts can be found on Paper Farm Animal Crafts and Toddler Farm Activities. Although they may require a lot of work and preparation as a teacher, these are also great learning experiences for your students. Painting and cutting are great ways to build fine motor skills, and art projects of all kinds are important to helping creativity flourish! So sit back and enjoy as your students get creative.