Coffee Filter Lion Preschool Craft and Toilet Paper Tube Binoculars

I’m dying to show you all the pictures from my daughter’s County Fair themed birthday from this past weekend, but it is going to take me a while to write up that post. Check back in a week or two for all of the exciting details!

In the meantime, I have been doing a pre-school co-op for this same daughter and some of her friends. The moms take turns teaching class to the kids at our homes. I asked my daughter what she wanted to learn when it was our turn to teach and she told me that she wanted to learn about “the animals of the African Savannah.” Thank you Dora and Diego.

So I took the kids on a virtual African Safari. I found a good deal on a cardboard jeep that the kids could color and “ride” in as we went on our safari. But first they each had to have a set of these:

I thought about having the kids make their own, but since I ended up using hot glue, I decided I’d better put these toilet roll binoculars together myself, before hand.

I glued a clothespin in between the two TP tubes, to act as a spacer, so they would fit a little more like real binoculars, and it makes them a little bit adjustable. Having animal print duct-tape, certainly doesn’t hurt when you are trying to give the safari feel! I glued the twine inside, so the binoculars could hang around their necks when not in use. You could also use a hole-punch and tie them on.

I had them look through their binoculars as I held up the pictures from the book I had on safari animals at different places in the room. Once they spotted the new animal, I would read the facts about that animal. We even had a visit from a live action zebra and lion (as the kids took turns with some masks and tails we had on hand).

After our Safari and our safari snacks…

{hippos and other animal (crackers) in mud (peanut butter), eating trees (broccoli), bananas–just because they seemed like a good idea, and grubs (gummy worms)}

…we made our own lions to take home!

This coffee filter lion craft was inspired by a craft from Preschool Corner that I had found on Pinterest. The original is really cute, especially, if you want the kids to work on their scissor skills, but I didn’t have enough scissors or enough patience to help them all use them. On a whim I looked around to see what I had on hand, and decided that the natural-colored coffee filters would make lovely manes. I’m sure I use more coffee filters than any other non-coffee drinker on the planet!

He’s pretty straight-forward to make, but I’ll break it down, just to make it really simple:

1-Gather supplies: Cheap economy white paper plates, kids paint: yellow and brown, natural coffee filters, a couple of googly eyes (check the dollar store, Walmart, or a craft store), white glue, and a paintbrush or two.

2- Let the kids paint the plate yellow.

Incidentally, if you use a foam brush and paint yellow over the ridges with out pushing the paint down into the crevices, it ends up making a lovely sun! I’m going to remember that for future craft projects.

Of course, if you are my daughter, and don’t like following my directions, you can do a two-toned paint job, even though the orange paint will be covered up by coffee filters in a minute, but whatever.

3- Split the side of the coffee filter and cut out the inner circle. To fully surround the plate you will need two filters prepared this way.

4- Using your white glue, attach the strips of ruffled coffee filters all around the outer circle of the plate. Glue first, then attach the filter a little at a time so it lines up with the plate.

5- Use a little glue to attach the googly eyes where you’d like them to be.

6-Use a smaller brush and a little brown paint to paint a triangle nose on your lion with that sort of “W” shape just below for the mouth.

And voila! You have a lion. Unless…

You are a little more free-form like my 2-year old. Do you want some eyeballs with your glue, son?

And my 5-year-old’s. Again, with the glue (maybe we need a lesson on proper glue usage?), but still pretty cute!

I have been collecting ideas of crafts and teaching opportunities for future classes or just rainy days.

You can check them out on these Pinterest Boards:

Kid Crafts

Fun Food


Next week, I get to throw the Preschool Halloween party, and I’m pretty excited! I’ll be doing Thanksgiving and Christmas, too, so you may want to keep checking those Pinterest boards for lots of kid-friendly, educational fun!

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  1. Fun ideas here. Am going to teach my nieces how to make those lions. Easy and economical too. Thanks.

  2. The binoculars are really fun and the lion is adorable. Please come by and link this post (and any other arts, crafts and play posts) to Artsy Play Wednesday.

  3. proverbs31mama says

    Found you an pinterest…….Thanks for the lion craft post. I am using it for vbs this year!

  4. Very cute ideas, thanks for sharing! It may have just been me but I had trouble reading the text in the light blue color. Something you may want to think about, but like I said it could have just been me. 🙂


  1. […] Or grab the kids and go on a Safari! Head to Me and My Insanity to learn how Kendra made these quick and fabulous binoculars for her kiddos. […]

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