Habitat Dioramas

Habitat Diorama.png

Habitat Dioramas

This has been a fun week as the kids and I are working on 6 shoebox habitat diorama projects.

I’m not sure who was more excited…me or the kids?

I was helping a friend organize her school room last week and I came across a project her son had created. It was an arctic diorama. It was so cool!! It got me really excited and inspired to tackle a project like this with my kids.

Recently our contact teacher had mentioned that my kids still needed to cover habitats…so…I had a great excuse to play…ahem…um…I mean for the kids to play and create. This mama has to try not to micromanage the project ;)

How To Make A Habitat Diorama

Ocean habitat diorama.png

Decide on the theme

The first thing we did was decide on which habitats to create.

Believe me, it’s harder then it sounds!! We are not tackling 1 habitat, but 6 because I couldn’t just decide on one. The 3 older kids get to create two each.

On our agenda is the Jungle and African Grasslands, Desert and Forest, the Ocean and the Arctic.


Once we decided on the themes, I had the kids do some research on what animals live in each habitat and create a list of animals we would need to shop for or make.

They also wrote down descriptions of the environments, so they had an idea of what to look for to create the right habitat.

Collect supplies

Next we collected supplies…this was the fun part because it included shopping. We hit the dollar store and toy store. It was fun walking up and down the aisles seeing what ideas the kids would come up with. They had some really creative ideas of how to use different random items.

Habitat Diorama Supplies

  • Sandpaper (bottom on the desert)

  • Plastic plants (from the fake flower aisle and from the pet aisle for fish bowl accessories)

  • Construction paper

  • Paint

  • Fake grass

  • Brown paper bags

  • Small rocks

  • Blue scarf (waterfall)

  • Tigs and sticks

  • Foam

  • Cotton balls

  • Lego

  • Plastic animals

  • Small shells

  • Glue gun and lots of glue sticks

  • Pictures printed for the background

We found many of our plastic animals at the dollar store(s) and those we couldn’t find, we either found at the toy store, bought second hand or we even printed off pictures of them. We also printed off background pictures.

Once we had all the fun items, we found boxes to build our habitats in.


Start creating

After everything was gathered, the kids started painting the outside of the boxes to go with the theme of which habitat would be in that box.

When the outside of the boxes were painted, the kids worked on the inside backdrop scene. There was painting involved and gluing the printed backdrops to the inside of the boxes.

The next part was the most fun; arranging all the scenery props and then the animals.

When the kids decided what the surrounding area was going to look like, they glued the scenery props in place and then glued the animals into place.

These were so much fun and worth the effort!

Here are the steps for creating a diorama of your own:

  1. Decide on a habitat theme

  2. Research animals and environment

  3. Collect supplies needed for box, animals and environment

  4. Paint the outside of the box

  5. Paint/decorate the inside of the box

  6. Arrange scenery props and animal

Have fun creating !