Easy Animal Habitat Craft to Keep Kids Busy

I’m always looking for good crafts and projects to keep my little girl busy while I work. One of the most simple crafts that she’s been enjoying lately is one that helps with fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, creativity and I’m sure other developmental areas.

First, I make her a quick, fun creature out of origami. She loves little foxes and especially turtles. This also helps get me inspired and “warmed up.” We keep a box of origami-sized paper on my desk for this purpose, and always draw faces and other features on our animals once they’re finished.

Once she has an animal, we decide what kind of home it needs, and then go about making that home. Using scrap paper—usually from junk mail, whatever color fits the purpose—I let her sit on my desk and cut it into as many pieces as she wants. This usually makes my desk look like confetti, but she knows as long as it doesn’t get on the keyboard it’s all good with mommy. Letting her do this with her safety scissors right next to me usually gives me a good chunk of work time.

Prior to cutting, you can also let your child color the paper if he or she prefers.

We might save the scraps for the next day, or we might use them immediately, depending on whether or not she wants to do something else or wants to continue. Once we decide to continue, we grab another piece of scrap paper—one that’s nice and flat—and I let her glue the scraps all over it, any way she chooses.

Once she’s finished covering the entire paper, she’s free to use it as her new animal friend’s “habitat.” Today, for example, she used lots of white and blue scrap paper (which she actually cut up yesterday) and glued it onto the back of a flyer to create an “ocean” for her sea turtle.

You can experiment in plenty of ways—even make 3-D origami trees for a “forest” using green and brown scrap paper. It’s also a great project for all of those leftover, tiny scraps of wrapping paper, construction paper, or other pieces of paper you have after creating something else. Instead of tossing them out, keep them gathered in a box just for occasions such as this. Your child will enjoy making a masterpiece that he or she can play with.