I have been collecting cardboard tubes for the last month to complete this project. Honestly we really only needed about five. I think I was being overly adventurous. I pulled this craft from the December 2010 issue of Family Fun Magazine which is part of Disney. This magazine rocks the kids craft world. They do not put most of their content on the web so getting the subscription is absolutely worth it. I would like to post the directions, but this project was not on their site and I don't want to get in trouble for copyright infringement.
Button Boy had some cutting issues on this particular craft. It was pretty hard to cut through the cardboard tubes. I helped him draw and cut out the legs and heads of the circus animals. He went crazy with the paint. The Crayola Washable paint covered the cardboard tube much more thoroughly than the Melissa and Doug paint. We did not have gray, so we mixed a nice lavender, which I think brought a little life into the elephant. None of the paint was able to cover the plastic cup platform very well. We made the most of our red cup and added blue splotches. Foil star stickers would have been a nice touch. The narrow neck on the giraffe folded over, but we taped an extra piece of cardboard for support after the paint dried overnight.
The next day we added the finishing touches with googly eyes, because every project with a face begs for them. The directions called for sequin eyes, but I am not big on buying extra materials for a project unless I think we will use them again. Brown paint spots were splashed on the giraffe along with a giant mouth for the lion. We also replaced the lion's paper plate head with a circle cut out of yellow construction paper. It was a nice chance for Button Boy to practice his scissor skills.
After the animals were complete Button Boy had a ruckus time acting out a big top circus on his craft table while I cleaned up. I would give this project 4 messy hands out of 5. It was a little complex but it was a nice craft to work on together. I even made my own little elephant.