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  • Writer's pictureMade by Lauren M.

Paper Towel Roll Zebra

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

A fun arts and crafts activity for early grade schoolers to make an animal from the zoo. This activity helps tune into fine motor skills of painting and cutting shapes, counting, and being able to get creative and learn about zebras, an animal that you don’t just see everyday!


-An empty paper towel roll (for the body of the zebra)

Tip: you can use a toilet paper roll to make a baby zebra

-White paint

-A paintbrush

-A small cup (to trace a circle for the head of the zebra)

-Black and white construction paper



-A black marker

-A pencil

-Newspaper/paper towels (to avoid messes)

Activity Steps:

Step 1: Get ready to start making your very own pet zebra! First, take the paper towel roll and paint the entire outside white. Have an adult help you keep it vertical (up and down) while you paint it so the wet paint doesn't get all over the place.

Tip: lay down newspaper or a paper towel to prevent paint from getting on any surfaces.

Step 2: Now we have to wait until the paint dries, and this is a great time to practice patience, and work on our other steps.

Reminder: when you are done using your paintbrush wash and dry it off so it is clean for the next time you want to use it!

Step 3: While you are waiting for your paint to dry, we are going to make the face of the zebra. Take your small cup, flip it upside down onto the white construction paper and trace around it with a pencil to create the circle for the head of your zebra.

Step 4: Now you are going to draw 2 ears on either side of the circle you just outlined. Carefully cut out both the circle and the ears. You have the head and the ears of your zebra now!

Tip: these ears are in the shape of a leaf or a teardrop about an inch tall, about the length of your entire thumb.

Step 5: You are going to draw the snout/nose of the zebra. To do this use your black marker to draw a half circle on the bottom of your zebra’s head and color it in.

Tip: draw a smiley face with your pencil.

Step 6: You are almost done! Draw eyes, mouth, and stripes on the head of your zebra. Also, don’t forget to outline your ears.

Tip: to outline ears just draw and fill in a small leaf/teardrop shape with your black marker.

Tip #2: add a total of 6 stripes to the face, 2 on each side and 2 on the top. These are small lines with a triangular shape.

Step 7: Your paper towel roll should be dry now! Take your black sheet of construction paper and cut it into 7 narrow and long strips. These will be the zebra’s stripes.

Tip: if you need help cutting out your stripes, ask an adult to help. Each strip should be about 1/2 inch thick and 6 inches wide.

Step 8: Glue the black stripes onto your white paper towel roll. Space them out about an inch (the length of your thumb) apart from each other.

Remember: they do not all have to be even and the same. Zebra's stripes are very unique.

Step 9: Lastly, glue on the face of your zebra to the body. Put glue on the lower backside of the face (around the area where you drew the snout/nose on) and press it on to the top of the paper towel roll.

Tip: hold it long enough for the glue to dry! I like to sing a song while I wait for it to dry.

Step 10: You did such an amazing job! Now you get to enjoy your very own pet zebra. If you've ever been to the zoo, what is your favorite memory?

Zebra Fun Fact: A group of zebras is called a dazzle. Now you can "dazzle" your friends when you show them your zebra family creations!

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