Box Zoo

Create a mini zoo out of a large box or plastic tray and populate it with easy-to-make standing paper animals or with exciting three-dimensional folding animals.

Safety Tips

  • Kids 8 years and younger should use child-safe scissors.

Box Zoo craft

Materials

  • Self-hardening clay or salt dough
  • Scissors
  • Craft sticks or wooden ice cream spoons
  • Sand
  • Plastic tray or any wide box ( e.g. pizza box,
    cereal box or large shoe box)
  • Decorative materials: feathers, flower-shaped beads, sequins, pipe cleaner, egg carton tray, etc.
  • Poster paint or watercolor (optional)

Steps

Step 1a Box Zoo 1. For three-dimensional paper animals, follow the instructions in the Folding Zoo Animals craft.
Step 1b Box Zoo An easier option for younger kids is to make these Standing Paper Animals.
Step 2 Box Zoo 2. Now that you have created your paper animals, you can make a zoo for them using a wide box or old plastic tray.
Step 3 Box Zoo 3. Think of a layout for your zoo. Decide on where each animal should be housed. Sketch an outline of your plan on the tray or box.
Step 4 Box Zoo 4. Cover the area inside the animal enclosures with green self-hardening clay or salt dough, putting a thicker layer around the edges.
Step 5 Box Zoo 5. You can make a watering hole with blue clay or salt dough. Use the tip of a spoon to etch some waves on the dough.
Step 6 Box Zoo 6. Find suitable fencing material- you can use wooden ice cream spoons like I did or you can cut craft sticks in half. Other materials you can use are drinking straws or construction paper cut into thick strips. Stick the fence pieces around the borders of the animal enclosures. Push each one deep into the dough.
Step 7a Box Zoo 7. Here are some landscaping ideas for your zoo:

a.) Make flowers with flower-shaped beads, sequins or craft foam. Use craft wire, pipe cleaner, or colored toothpicks for the stems.
Step 7b Box Zoo b.) Create ferns by bunching up several green feathers and planting them into the dough ground.

*Check out more ideas for making plants and trees for your diorama.
Step 7c Box Zoo c.) Use natural rocks or pebbles for landscaping. You can also create your own rocks out of an egg carton tray. Cut an egg carton tray into individual sections and paint each section brown or gray.

Try to think of other things you want to decorate your zoo with. Dough or clay is a versatile medium and can be molded into many different shapes and items.
Step 8 Box Zoo 8. Cover the paths with sand.
Step 11 Box Zoo 9. Finally, put the animals inside their enclosures.

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