Animal Adults & Babies

Animal Adults & Babies lesson plan

How do pets or wildlife care for their young? Discover how young animals change as they grow!

  • 1.

    What animals fascinate you? Or what creatures are you studying in science? Find out how animal parents take care of their babies. Show what you’re learning about animal life cycles and their growth from birth to adulthood by creating miniature versions. You may want to use pictures as a reference—head, body, and leg proportions usually change from babyhood to grown-up!

  • 2.

    Decide which body parts you need for the mama or dad and baby. Almost all animals have a body, head, legs, and many have tails. Work on two paper plates, one for the adult and one for your baby animal. Follow these directions for each creature. Make them as realistic as possible!

  • 3.

    Roll Crayola Air-Dry Clay in your hand to form a body. With your fingers, pinch the top of the clay to form a head or roll a ball and attach it to the body. Form facial features using a toothpick or craft stick. Make ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • 4.

    Roll out a snake-like piece of clay to form legs. Will your animal be standing or seated? Make sure the legs are large enough to support it! Attach legs by scratching the spot on body and leg with a toothpick. Wet it with a drop of water and press the pieces together.

  • 5.

    What is missing on your animal? Does it need a tail, mane, whiskers, trunk, or paws? With Air-Dry Clay, it’s easy to make even very fine details.

  • 6.

    Repeat this process for your other animal. Air-dry your figures for several days.

  • 7.

    Cover your painting area with newspaper. Choose realistic colors of Crayola Tempera Paint for your creatures. If you use several colors, let each one dry before adding the next. Remember to rinse your brush when you change colors. Air-dry the paint.

  • 8.

    Explain to your classmates why you chose these animals. Describe how the babies look and the changes and amount of time it takes before they are adults.


  • Students research growth patterns and life cycles of animals.
  • Students choose one animal to represent in a realistic baby and adult form.
  • Students orally present information about their animal’s life cycle and describe differences between the young and adults.


  • What are the differences between wild and domesticated animals? How are their life cycles and habitats different?
  • Group your animals into those that share a similar habitat such as farm or rainforest. Create a diorama suitable for all of the creatures who live in that setting.
  • On a map, identify where in the world your animals live in their natural habitats.
  • Assessment: Children accurately portray the baby and adult versions of the animals (proportions, markings) and describe the creature’s life cycle.