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Tips For Making Animal Habitat Dioramas For Kids

Did your child recently come home and tell you that they needed to make a diorama? Get our tips for how you can make a classic animal habitat diorama that is sure to impress!

wolf animal habitat diorama in a shoe box with fake trees and wolf figurine.

Animal habitats are a classic elementary school project. Normally these habitat projects go along with a research aspect. Once you have researched your habitat, get creative with some of our tips and ideas for making an animal habitat (especially a wolf habitat diorama).

Why We Love Dioramas


  • KID FRIENDLY – With a little adult assistance, even the youngest of children can make an animal diorama.
  • EASILY CHANGE THE HABITAT– You can use these ideas and modify the habitat for an animal of your choice.
  • CAN MODIFY SUPPLIES – The only main supply you need is a shoe box, you can modify the other materials depending on what you have on hand.

Supplies You’ll Need

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wolf diorama project with labels for supplies used.

Tips For Making A Shoe Box Animal Habitat

Tip #1: Use A Box With A Lid

By using a box with an attached lid you will get more space to design your habitat diorama.

shoe box with packing tape with text overlay.
  • You can tape it open with packing tape so that the lid stays out.
  • Reinforce the box fold if it seems flimsy. You could do this with extra tape, adding a ruler or paint stick where the fold is.

Tip #2: Cover The Box First With Construction Paper

You can use larger pieces of paper for a background color. For an easy natural look, consider adding ripped paper inside the ground and on the outside of the box.

ripped green and brown construction paper.

Tip #3: Use Felt For Extra Texture

Fringe cut a strip of felt for a 3-D look. Add hot glue to the bottom of the felt only. You may need to prop the felt up with other items.

green felt cut like grass in shoe box.

Tip #4: Use Dollar Store Items

We were lucky that this habitat diorama needed to be completed in the Winter. You can score fake trees for a very cheap price. The shiny blue fabric was also found in the craft section.

Tip #5: Use A Flameless Candle For Light

Cut or poke a small hole in the back of your shoe box and tape a cheap battery-powered candle for sunlight or moonlight.

small battery powered light taped to shoe box.

Tip #6: Buy A Animal Figurine

Here is the wolf figurine that we bought for our diorama. You can search for all sorts of animal figures online or at different craft stores.

Tip #7 Use Model Magic

If you need extra details or 3-d rocks you can mold them out of Model Magic. This is one of our favorite no-mess modeling clay.

model magic rock inside animal habitat.

Tip #8: Make Sure Your Child Does Most Of The Work

As a parent, it can be easy to try to want to do it for your child. However, it is important that you just act as their assistant instead of doing it for them. For example, our main job here was to help set the box and use the hot glue gun.

wolf animal habitat diorama in a shoe box.

Other Ways To Add To Add To Your Diorama

  • Use sand, small pebbles, real sticks or sea glass to add more details.
  • Crumbled-up tissue paper can create a fun texture.
  • Printing a picture would work if you don’t want to purchase a figurine. To make it look more 3-dimensional fold the bottom and tape or glue it so the animal appears to be standing.
  • Consider hanging things through the top of the box with a clear fishing line.

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More Fun Craft Ideas

Have fun making memories with your family as you work on these diorama projects.

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