Colour-changing Chameleons - Thematic Book Activity

As we are exploring the rainforests for this month’s theme, we will do a craft activity related to a thematic book - A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni. Do borrow the book from the library to read together with your child. Alternatively, read aloud videos of the book are also available on YouTube.

Story synopsis: A little chameleon is distressed that he doesn’t have a color of his own like other animals. He is very sad because he cannot move around without changing colour. Because he wants to have a color of his own so badly, he finds the greenest leaf and decides to stay there forever. This works until the seasons start to change, and the leaf turns to yellow and then to red. Finally, he finds another chameleon who suggests that they travel together and they set off on a new life of adventure. 

Colour-changing Chameleons Craft

    What you need
    Step by step


    Recycled cardboard / 1 paper plate

    Acrylic Paint / Watercolours

    1 Brass fastener

    Sponge (optional)

    • Take a paper plate and paint different colours on it. Use a sponge to dab on another layer of colour when the first layer is dry (optional). Leave to dry.
    • Cut out one circle from recycled cardboard, slightly bigger than the  paper plate (so that it is easier to turn).
    • Print out the chameleon template and trace 2 chameleons onto the round cardboard.
    • Cut out the chameleons using a penknife.
    • Use a penknife to poke a hole in the centre of both round cardboards and use a brass fastener to attach the chameleon cardboard on top of the painted plate.
    • Get the kids to turn the cardboard to get their chameleons to change colour and watch their eyes light up with excitement!


    Discussion points:

    1. Do you know that chameleons change colour to reflect their mood and help their bodies adjust to changes in temperature or light? Using the craft, show your child how chameleons change color to match their surroundings (camouflage). You can do so by placing the chameleon that you made against a similar colour background. Next, turn the wheel to change the colour of the chameleon and ask your child to camouflage it by looking for a similar colour background in the house or even outdoors.
    2. Use the story to talk about personal identity. You can teach your child that everyone is unique with different appearance, strengths and weaknesses. We do not have to change ourselves to conform or to please others. Friendship does not have to be built with people who are similar. More importantly, friends stay together to enjoy one another’s company.

    Learning about how animals and insects camouflage themselves is one of the five learning areas in our rainforest box, do you want your child to learn more about the rainforest? Order our box now, while stocks last!

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