Tissue Box Creatures

What You Need:

  • Empty tissue box
  • Tempera paint and paintbrush
  • Paint tray
  • Googly eyes, buttons, bottle caps, or similar items to create eyes
  • Glue or tape
  • Blank paper
  • Pencil
  • A variety of craft supplies, such as yarn, felt, pom poms, beads, construction paper, pipe cleaners, etc.
  • Handwriting paper

What You Do:

  1. Give your child a blank piece of paper and a pencil. Invite them to sketch a creature that they have made up in their mind. Tell them that there are no restrictions or requirements for the creature. It can have as many arms, legs, eyes, or heads as they want! Look up creatures in books you have at home or online to provide inspiration for your child’s creation.
  2. Ask your child to talk about the creature they drew. Some prompting questions include:
    • Where does your creature live?
    • What does it eat? How does it find its food?
    • How does your creature move around?
    • What special things does the creature do? Can it fly? Slide? Camouflage itself?
    • What is your creature’s name?
  3. Gather the supplies and tell your child that they will have the chance to bring their creature to life using an empty tissue box and some art supplies.
  4. Put a tablecloth or newspapers down on the table before your child begins constructing their creature.
  5. Give your child time to assemble their creature, and offer support as needed. Engage your child in a conversation about how their tissue box creature compares to the creature they drew on the paper. Ask how the creature is the same and how it is different. Guide your child in talking about the changes they made and why they had to make them.  
  6. Challenge your child to think about an adventure that their tissue box creature could go on. Alternatively, have them think about what a day in the life of the tissue box creature looks like. Tell your child that they will now write a story about the tissue box creature.
  7. Give your child the Handwriting Paper and have them write their story. If they need support, allow them to dictate their story for you to record on the paper. Provide your writer with sentence starters such as:
    • First, the creature…
    • It was a bright and sunny day when...
    • Yesterday, they discovered that their superpower was...
    • There was trash everywhere...
    • The rain was pouring down…
    • They were hiding in the tree house when…
    • After the explosion…
  8. Encourage your child to display their tissue box creature and share their story with others, either in person or over a video chat.

If you have more empty tissue boxes, or another type of box you could repurpose, have your child make a family of tissue box creatures! This fun craft will allow your child to tap into their imagination, while working on their building and writing skills.

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