Crafting brings out my inner-child. As summer approaches, animal crafts are an easy way to slip in biology with a fun gross-motor activity that gets kids moving and active. Kids won’t even know they’re learning! Here are 25 ideas to get started. Projects link to a tutorial explaining the craft, and I tried to include crafts with a variety of materials: paper plates, pipe cleaners, water bottles, egg cartons, toilet paper tubes, cotton balls, and more.
Messy Pig Craft – Mrs. Karen’s Class
If you don’t mind a mess, this craft is for you! Hint: sand, oatmeal and tempera paint make the mud!
Water Bottle Piggy – Easy Crafts for Kids
Create a little piggy from a water bottle and pink paint. This works great as a piggy bank!
Sheep Crafts – Danielle’s Place
From a Lost Sheep craft to cotton ball sheep to popcorn sheep, this list has many cute little sheep ideas!
Rocking Paper Plate Crab – Crafts on Sea
All you need is a paper plate, red paper, glue, and googly eyes for this easy and fun craft.
Baggy Fish Craft – Crayola
Crayola has a great tutorial on creating a puffy little fish – from a brown paper bag!
Paper Plate Bats – Crafts on Sea
Perfect for a Halloween themed party, these paper plate bats are the easy solution to a fun Halloween-themed party!
Felt Turkey Pattern – My Mundane and Miraculous Life
Create this easy DIY felt turkey.
Bird Crafts – 101 Craft Ideas
From Angry Birds bookmarks to bird puppets to milk jug bird feeders, here are 10 bird crafts for kiddos of all ages.
Play Dough Insects – A Little Pinch of Perfect
Create insects out of play dough, and carefully weave in a lesson about their anatomy and structure. (tutorial included!)
Handprint Life Cycle of a Butterfly – Schooltime Snippets
With mainly construction paper and paint, learn about the four life cycles of a butterfly through this craft.
Snakes – Crafts by Amanda
Turn a brown paper towel or toilet paper tube into an adorable snake!
Egg Carton Turtles – Patchwork Parent
Create turtles simply with an egg carton and some paint!
Polar Bear Craft – Instructables
Combine a white paper plate with cotton balls and a styrofoam cup and you get a cute polar bear craft!
Egg Carton Penguin – Patchwork Parent
Save an egg carton, an ice cream tube lid, and a cereal box card for this craft.
Bear Fork Craft – Crafty Morning
Create an artistic bear with some brown paint – and a fork!
Handprint Lion – Busy Bee Kids Craft
I’ve always been a fan of handprint crafts. Turn a treasured handprint into a lion. Super fun project!
Lion Toilet Paper Roll – DLTK Crafts
Create a lion from a toilet paper roll, and a free printable.
Origami Giraffe – Tiny Rotten Peanuts
Follow this easy DIY tutorial on creating an origami owl. All you need is a piece of paper!
Paper Plate Owl – Mommy Savers
Combine a paper plate and construction paper, and decorate your own little owl.
Monkey Tree Craft – First Palette
Create a monkey and monkey tree with a paper towel tube.
Monarch Butterfly Art – Kid World Citizen
If you don’t mind some mess, this project is for you. It involves heavily on black paint and glue, but the finished result is so pretty!
Asian Elephant Craft – Kid World Citizen
Best for ages 8+. this craft combines cardboard, glue, foil and paint. This may take more work than some of the crafts on here, but it is something unique that artsy kids will love.
Elephant Eggs – Sight and Sound Reading
Teach the short vowel E and create this cute elephant craft with it. This site is also full of hands-on activities for teaching reading and the alphabet.
Emus and Hippos – Crafty Moms Share
Every kid should know what an emu is. (The emu is the largest bird native in Australia.) Here’s a craft to make this fun bird more memorable!
Habitat Mural – True Aim Education
Add an extra layer of biology with this habitat mural!
Also, check out these 50 animal crafts for kids.
Mommy Minutes has Handprint Alphabet crafts, and goes through the entire alphabet. Many letters are animals.