Today is World Wildlife Day a great day to focus endangered species.

The endangered species list has over 15,000 species that are either endangered or vulnerable, meaning they are at risk of becoming extinct. The list includes animals like the panda, which might be the most well known, but there are unfortunately thousands more.  Read this post for more information on some endangered species, and visit the World Wildlife Fund directly for current information.

Today we’re doing an activity that’s a great way to introduce younger kids to these animals and celebrate World Wildlife Day.  Not to mention it’s messy and fun!

Here are some animals on the endangered species list:

  • Cheetah
  • Giant Panda
  • American Alligator
  • Blue, Gray, and other Whales
  • Brazilian Three-Toed Sloth
  • Gray Wolf
  • Sumatran, Black, and White Rhinoceros
  • Several Species of Crocodile
  • Beluga Whale
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle (plus several other species of sea turtles)
  • Asian Elephant
  • Desert Tortoise
  • Lion
  • Jaguar
  • Leopard
  • Tiger
  • Koala
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Paper Plates –  Try to use eco-friendly paper plates!

Pencils – Be green with these Recycled Paper pencils!

Paints or markers in different colors we love Natural Earth Paint kits!


Take paper plate and turn it upside down.

Using pencil, trace hand print onto the back of the paper plate.

Determine the direction of the handprint depending on the animal.

For instance, for the Chimpanzee I had fingers pointing up. For the Brown Bear I had the fingers pointing down.

Paint the handprint the color desired for the chosen animal. Ensure to take into account special details like the Asian Penguin’s white stomach or the Rhinoceros horn.

Paint on special details and the face.  Let dry and you’re done!


animal handprint art


animal handprint craft