Select Page

Silhouette Art for Pre-Schoolers

Finding crafts that work for every age is not easy. My 4-year-old finds himself on the sideline watching as I help his older sisters with more technical projects that are suited for their ages. This Silhouette Art is a project all my kids seem to like. Even my 9-year-old will participate. It’s also really simple to do and can be a great starter project for pre-schoolers that are learning to use scissors and glue. 



Elephant made with strips of paper

What You’ll Need

Black Paper

You’ll need 2 pieces. I use Astrobrights Cardstock (pictured above) which is a little more on the expensive side. I just find that it holds up better when soaked with glue. Regular construction paper is perfectly fine though.

Decorative Paper

I used 4 different sheets of decorative paper. Here is the specific one I used (pictured above). I have also used wrapping paper in the past.


As I stated, this is a great project to get your pre-schooler practicing with scissors. You will also need a pair of adult ones to cut out the shape of the animal or whatever silhouette you choose. 


I find stick glue to be the neatest, but the stickiness is not very good. So I just use regular old Elmer’s Glue. I like the clear kind best. 

*NOTE: I do NOT take a commission from these links. This is just what I use. 

The Steps

Step 1:

This is the choosing step. For the older kids, I let them pick what they wanted to silhouette. For my preschooler, I simply chose his favorite animal. I then set the decorative paper pad in front of him and asked him to choose 4 patterns that he liked

Step 2:

Have your child cut out strips from the patterns they have chosen. You can optionally draw lines on the back of the pattern paper to give your pre-schooler guidelines and give them practice on cutting on the lines. I did this and my son chose to cut in between the lines. There’s no wrong way in daddy-craft-time.

Step 3:

Have your child glue the different cut strips onto 1 of the black pieces of paper. Have them fill it in as much as they can. 

Step 4:

Draw the outline of the silhouette on the other black piece of paper. (You could do this while your child is cutting out strips or gluing if they have that under control. )

For some, the drawing of the silhouette may seem daunting for dads that feel their drawing skills are sub-par. You could google the thing you want to silhouette (ie. “elephant silhouette”), print it, and cut it out to use as a stencil. Try to choose something that doesn’t have a lot of skinny parts. 

Step 5:

Cut the shape out. Make sure you leave the paper in good condition as we’re using the negative space (the hole created) of the paper to make the artwork. 

Step 6:

If your child is done gluing down the strips, you can now add glue to the black paper you just cut silhouette into (glue on the side with the pencil lines showing).  Place the glue side down on top of the paper with cut decorative strips of paper.
Viola! You have a beautiful piece of artwork.

4-year-old using scissors
Proud Artist
hippo silhouette
sloth silhouette


Let me know if you are interested in content for the professional dad by entering your email address.
I may reach out to you to understand what would be the most beneficial areas to cover.