Elephant and Chinese children, approx. 1794, by Nagasawa Rosetsu (Japanese, 1754–1799).
Auspicious elephant hanging, approx. 1800–1900.
Wish-granting wand (ruyi), 1900–2000.
Step 1: Use a pencil to trace the outline of one of your hands. Ask a friend or family member if you can trace around their hand, too, so you have hands of different sizes and shapes.
Step 2: Turn your hand drawings upside down and outline them with the black pen. Then color in each elephant, adding details such as eyes, ears, tails, wrinkles, and toes.
Step 3: Try to make each elephant distinct—how might you convey an elephant’s age or personality? In our example, how are the two elephants different from each other?
Step 4: Think: What habitat would be nice for these elephants to live in? Draw and color in that habitat for your elephants. In our example, the elephants will get to enjoy delicious bamboo.
Step 5: Ask your friends and family to create their own hand-elephants and habitats. Then “join hands” and hang all the elephants up together to create a fun caravan on your wall. Where will your elephants go next?