Giraffes Can’t Dance – But They CAN Stamp!

It’s time for another monthly themed picture book link up with some other creative bloggers. This month we are focusing on a perennial favorite- Giraffes Can’t Dance. I have to be honest- despite it’s popularity, I had not read this book until a few years ago. When I finally did, I loved Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees‘ tale of Gerald, an unsure, self-conscious giraffe who pays too much attention to the taunts of the other animals.

giraffes can't dance book
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While the other creatures of the jungle dance confidently, Gerald internalizes their remarks. He must be too clumsy, too useless, and clearly- he can’t dance. A friendly little cricket comes along, and helps Gerald realize that he can dance- he just needs to find his music. With that boost, Gerald is able to dance freely and share his new-found moves with the rest of the awed animals. It turns out that Gerald – and giraffes – can dance! The illustrations are bright and lively, sure to draw in young readers. The text is full of novel words, making read-a-louds engaging and enriching.

giraffes can't dance book

My entire life, I’ve been Gerald. As a child, going up to bat during a softball game was a panicky experience- all eyes were on me! Public speaking assignments in high school were nerve wracking, and I would shake throughout them. I am the wife sitting down at weddings because I don’t feel comfortable dancing in front of others. I don’t even like to call to order a pizza! Not surprisingly, there’s also an awful lot of Gerald in my mom as well – like mother, like daughter I suppose. I love Giraffes Can’t Dance as an opportunity to share an example of finding inner confidence to my boys. I don’t want them to grow up with my same level of nerves. Ultimately, I want them to feel comfortable dancing freely. I know they can find a role model for this in Gerald.

giraffes can't dance book

Giraffes Can’t Dance?! Stamp A Confident Giraffe!

You will need:

project supplies

  1. First, paint the canvas your desired base color using a sponge brush and acrylic craft paint. Keep in mind that the yellow for the giraffe is pretty light, so you don’t want your base to be too dark. We did two coats of aqua, letting each coat dry completely.
    aqua canvas
  2. Next, use your printable template to trace the giraffe outline onto your contact paper. Cut the inside of the giraffe shape out, leaving a stencil that covers the rest of the canvas. (Kids may need extra help with the cutting- it’s a tricky step for some!) Stick the contact paper stencil down, and make sure the edges of the giraffe are well ‘stuck’.
    Traced giraffe template cut giraffe template placed giraffe template
  3. Paint the giraffe body with yellow acrylic craft paint and a sponge brush. Depending on your base color, you may need a few coats. Allow each coat to dry completely between applications.
    yellow giraffe body
  4. While the yellow paint dries, you can create your stamp. Attach the craft foam shape to the flat bottom of a small wooden candlestick holder. Use a small sponge brush to add a light coat of brown acrylic craft paint to the stamp. Stamp the giraffe’s spots across the body. I suggest using washable paint, and cleaning up promptly. A damp paper towel should clean the foam shape easily, and the stamp can be used again in the future.
    stamp supplies ready to stamp giraffe stamp spotted giraffe
  5. Next, peel up the contact paper template, revealing your giraffe! Make sure to let all the paint dry completely.
    without stencil
  6. Add details like a tail to the giraffe using a small paint brush and brown acrylic craft paint. This is a chance for kids to really add some personal touches and infuse some personality in their giraffes!
    tail detail head detail
  7. Next, attach a pair of eye stickers, or glue down some google eyes to give your giraffe sight.
    giraffe face detail
  8. As the final step, use a fine black permanent marker to add some music notes around the giraffe. After all, it’s easier to dance when you’re surrounded by music!
    music notes

Finally- crank some tunes and have a giraffe-inspired dance party of your own!
giraffes can't dance book and project

what are your kids favorite board books? Let me know in the comments below!


Scroll on for more fun Giraffes Can’t Dance ideas!

 Babies To Bookworms

Chocolate N Children  Chocolate N Children

Mixed Bag Mama Mixed Bag Mama

 The Adventure Starts Here The Adventure Starts Here

Syncopated MamaSyncopated Mama

raising fairies and knights
Raising Fairies And Knights



  • Lauri

    What a great project!

    • Kate

      Thank you!

  • Lisa

    This is so cute! I really love it. 🙂 I have two young enough that they would still have a good time with this craft.

    • Kate

      I hope they enjoy it, Lisa! Thanks!

  • harnessinghappy

    This turned out awesome. What a cute project!

    • Kate

      Thanks very much, Jessica!

  • Hil D (@Raisingfairies)

    That’s so cute!! It would be great decoration in a nursery too!

    Thank you so much for participating this month in the #monthlycraftingbookclub.

    • Kate

      Thank you! And thanks so much for coordinating! Love the monthly book club!

  • Dani wagner

    I absolutely love this book! I used to use it to teach literary devices in my middle school class and then added it to my own kids’ library.

    • Kate

      How fun! I love the idea of using picture books to teach older kids as well!

  • Mamaguru

    What an adorable project! Giraffes are my favorite animal!!

    • Kate

      Thank you! They are such beautiful animals, so graceful!

  • The Domestic Musician

    Such a cute craft and book! We will need to give this a try!

    • Kate

      I hope you guys love it! Thanks!

  • Shannon

    This book looks so cute and that craft is adorable!

    • Kate

      Thanks very much, Shannon!

  • nsalama1

    Looks like a great book and such a fun craft project!

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

    • Kate

      It’s definitely an adorable book. Thanks, Nicole!

  • Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms

    This is such an adorable idea! My daughter loves stamping things!

    • Kate

      Both of my kids do too! Thanks!

  • Charissa | thenotsobusymom

    Cute story, great message, fun project!! Thanks for sharing.
    One of our favorite board books is The Pout Pout Fish.

    • Kate

      Thank you, Charissa! We love Pout Pout too… My 18 month old takes him very seriously, and never says ‘Pout Pout’ at full volume, he just whispers it very solemnly. Haha, crazy kids!

  • ajonsson31

    What a fun craft idea! I’ll have to check out this book that everyone is talking about : )

    • Kate

      It’s a really cute book, I hope you enjoy it!

  • Lisa/SyncopatedMama

    What a cute little piece of art! So glad you joined us this month!

    • Kate

      Thanks so much for having me, Lisa!

  • Mixed Bag Mama

    This turned out really cute! My 4 year old and I both love painting, so I’m sure this would be a hit. Thanks for sharing on the monthly crafting book club.

    • Kate

      Thanks very much!

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