Color Changing Chameleon Craft

I had an idea for a paper chameleon that could change color (sort of), so during our last trip to the library I found three great books about chameleons.  (Do all chameleons have self esteem issues? If anybody has a book suggestion about a happy chameleon I'd love to hear it!)

The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle: We love all of Eric's Carle's books and this one is no exception.  A chameleon decides he's unhappy being a chameleon and wishes for all the traits of the animals he sees at the zoo.  Soon he's so mixed up that he can't even catch a fly when it buzzes by and decides to go back to being himself. 

A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni: A chameleon is unhappy because he doesn't have his own color.  He decides to stay on a green leaf, so he will remain green.  But when the fall comes, the leaf changes!  An older and wiser chameleon suggests that they stay together, because although they still won't have a color of their own, they will always match each other. 

Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett: A lonely chameleon changes to match the objects around him (yellow when he's next to a banana, swirly when he's next to a snail) but nobody is interested in being friends until he finds someone that he matches perfectly.

To make our chameleons I only needed:
  • tracing paper (I just used printer paper)
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • a paper punch

I traced a chameleon from each of the books and then used the pattern to cut them out of construction paper.  Older kids could create and/or color their own chameleons.

After we read the books, we used a paper punch to punch holes in each of the chameleons.

We held them up to different surfaces to see how their "spots" changed color to match the background.

If you liked this craft, you might also want to check out our post about spotted animals!

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  1. Brilliant! What a great idea! I love the changing spots!

  2. What a creative idea!!! And your chameleons looked great!

  3. Love this idea, will use it in my preK class, during our color unit--Thanks!

  4. Love the spot idea. Great craft for littles! :O)

  5. Very clever idea! This would also be neat to use for the book Put Me in the Zoo about the leopard who changes the colors of his spots..

  6. very very clever! I would love for you to add this post, and any other of your ideas, to my weekly Mom's Library Link-Up.

    Thanks and Be Blessed,

  7. ha! So true about the Chameleons with self esteem issues. I love all three of those books. I also wonder why so many AMAZING children's authors choose to write about Chameleons. It would be nice if they could write about something a little more practical. (that's probably why I'm not a children's author!) I love your activity too! Great motor skills to strengthen those little hands for writing and drawing! We'll have to try this.

    1. Jackie, you COULD be a children's author! I'd be the first in line to buy your books!

  8. Very cute! My girls love "A Color of His Own!"

  9. That's an adorable craft! Now that I see A Color of His Own, I remember getting it from the library - nice little book.

    Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop! :)

  10. Great idea! Leon the Chameleon is an amazing book to check out- not very well known, but awesome, and it would go along perfectly! It's also a fabulous book for teaching about the color wheel.


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