Milk Carton to Woolly Mammoth

For teachers, museum staff and home educationalists, here is a simple craft idea to make a Woolly Mammoth model.  This could prove to be very useful when thinking of extension ideas to support teaching about the Stone Age or prehistoric mammals.  A milk carton can be used to make a Woolly Mammoth model.

Make Your Own Woolly Mammoth Models Using Milk Cartons

Making a Woolly Mammoth out of a plastic milk carton.

Making a Woolly Mammoth out of a milk carton.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Everything Dinosaur.

Ideal for Upper KS1 or Lower KS2

Using just a few basic school resources, all of which are readily available in the average classroom, a milk carton can be used to make a Woolly Mammoth model.  This craft idea is a great way to help support cross curricular activities.

What You Will Need

  • Scissors (round ended ones would be best)
  • A selection of empty milk cartons (washed out)
  • White card or paper
  • Paints
  • Pencil and a black pen to help draw out the shapes to be cut out of the milk carton

Carefully cut the milk carton in half, using the handle as a guide.  The handle will make the trunk of the Mammoth so cut the handle first than cut around the rest of the carton.  Then trim the base of the milk carton so that the base is a good two centimetres deeper than the trunk.  This will ensure that the Mammoth’s trunk will be raised off the floor.

The Milk Carton Mammoth Begins to Take Shape

Milk carton Woolly Mammoth takes shape.

Woolly Mammoth takes shape (milk carton).

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Making a Woolly Mammoth Model

Cut two tongue-shaped slots on each side of the carton, these will make the legs.  Use a pencil to sketch out where the cuts will be made and then go over the pencil line with a black marker pen to give you a distinctive line to follow.  Cut a third tongue-shaped slot on the back of the carton, this will help to form the back legs.  Add the tail by cutting a small “V” shape at the top of this slot, you can then bend this plastic out to make the Woolly Mammoth’s stumpy tail, but watch for sharp edges.

Paint your Woolly Mammoth model, mark in the five toe nails per foot, outline the small ears (an adaptation to the cold) and add the eyes.

Build Your Own Herd of Prehistoric Woolly Mammoths

A pair of milk carton Woolly Mammoths.

Build your own herd of milk carton Woolly Mammoths.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Make a small hole either side of the trunk and push some white card or paper into the hole to form the pair of tusks.  Bend the tip of the tusks upwards so that they resemble the tusks of this Ice Age elephant.  Different sized milk cartons can be used to make different sized Woolly Mammoths, such as the adult and young pictured above.

For dinosaur and prehistoric animal resources for schools, including fossil sets and dinosaur models: Prehistoric Animal Toys and Gifts.