Nate and I are planning a 2018 trip to Africa, which I believe is how I first got sucked into the story of an orphaned baby elephant in Botswana. “Research!” I explained as I pulled up the Naledi documentary on Netflix. “We should know about the wildlife where we're going.”

Then, the National Wildlife Federation and the production team behind the film philanthropist Paul Allen's Vulcan Productions reached out wanting to sponsor us to share the Every Elephant Counts Contest with our audience. I was ALL IN. Naledi needed no further introduction in this house.

Naledi

I'll cut right to the chase and explain what this means for you: students ages 9-18 can enter to win a trip for three to Africa to meet the miraculous baby elephant, Naledi, who survived to be reunited with her herd. The contest is aiming to help young people learn about the wide array of dangers facing elephants today and inspire them to think outside the box to answer the question: “What is your best idea for how we can save the elephants?”

Anything goes. Sky's the limit. Children can get as creative as they like, from high-tech elephant tracking ideas to off-the-wall art fundraisers. All applicants will be pooled together and judges will select a winner, without regard for age, based on originality.

Here are some Crafty Elephant Ideas to Jumpstart Creativity!

There are so many creative ways to make wall art and even wearable accessories that could be used as mainstream reminders about elephant well-being. Remember those yellow bracelets that increased awareness and discussion about cancer issues? YOU could potentially come up with a concept that does THAT for elephants. Get the dialogue going with kids of all ages using any of these elephant craft ideas.

26 elephant craft ideas for all ages

Re-crafted elephant fork

Easy elephant handprint craft for kids

Feeling inspired? You can also find some great educational resources/lesson plans online and fun facts about elephants here. Ready to enter? Get started here! And if you're outside the ages of 9-18, you are still invited to take the pledge to help protect African elephants and share why elephants are important to you. All pledges are entered to win a weekly prize through November 23, 2017.

What's your favorite thing about elephants?