There are so many animals out there, it’s no wonder kids find them endlessly fascinating. Most kids have a favorite animal, whether they prefer something cute and cuddly, big and powerful, or creepy and crawly. With over 43 animal crafts to choose from below, you are almost certain to find something your child will love.

In the “cute and cuddly” category you’ll find a “Memorable Meow,” a “What Are Your Koala-fications?”, and even a couple of baby chicks. Do your kids prefer their animals with sharp teeth and/or claws? Check out the “Smiling Shark Craft,” the “Cute And Friendly Polar Bear,” or “Who’s That Cheetah?” Outdoorsy kids who love bugs can make the “3D Bouncing Spiders” or the “Little Ladybug.” And there are enough ocean critters to fill the seven seas!

Many of these crafts use items you probably already have at home, especially if you live with artsy kids who love to make things. Some of these work great when incorporated into classroom lesson plans on subjects like ecosystems and habitats. Others make wonderful party activities or rainy day projects.

So, wherever in the world your child’s imagination is going, and whatever type of animal they connect with, find a craft below and get started!

1. Take These Paper Wings And Learn To Fly

Take These Paper Wings And Learn To Fly

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

Not all crafts are flat and hang-on-the-refrigerator-door types. Some of the best crafts are made in 3D and are intended to be played with when they are completed. From I Heart Crafty Things comes this spectacular bird that will spark kids’ imaginations. The blog has a template you can download for a very small fee, but once you have it, you have it. Scrapbook paper in beautiful patterns and designs add a unique touch. Most kids will be able to help by accordion-folding colored paper for the wings. The great thing is, the combinations of colors and patterns kids can create are absolutely endless!

2. Keepsake Giraffe Craft

Keepsake Giraffe Craft

Image source: Glued To My Crafts

The word, “keepsake” might not immediately conjure images of giraffes for you, but it will after you check out this handprint project from Glued To My Crafts. In fact, not only is this made from your child’s handprint, but the whole arm! Giraffes have such long necks, so of course you need more than just a palm and five fingers. Gather up brown pom-poms in a range of sizes that your child can glue on as the giraffe’s spots, and it’ll be impossible not to love this sweet project.

3. DIY 3D Bouncing Spider Craft

DIY 3D Bouncing Spider Craft

Image source: Twitchetts

Whether you need a super fun craft for a classroom Halloween party, or your child is just really into bugs, check out this awesome spider craft from Twitchetts. Older kids can definitely get into this project, which requires enough hand-eye coordination to accordion-fold a strip of paper. If your children or students can’t do that, no problem: you can do it for them and help them assemble the rest of this eight-legged friend. Make sure to add googly eyes so that every time someone presses down on the spider, it jumps back up with wild, swirling eyes.

Related: 40 DIY Spider Crafts For Kids

4. Colorful Snail Craft

Colorful Snail Craft

Image source: This N That With Olivia

Inevitably, most children will go through a phase where they can’t stop making beaded crafts. From jewelry to friendship pins, tiny beads will find their way all over your house and car. Here’s a creative and clever way to make good use of those leftovers: a snail craft from This N That With Olivia. While older kids can stick to the spiral design shown, encourage your preschoolers to make whatever patterns and designs their little hearts desire. No more stepping on orphaned beads!

5. Koo-Koo-Ka-Choo


Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

If the beloved children’s book, “Walrus Kisses Are Scratchy” by Brent Weight is a bedtime favorite in your home, you simply must try this adorable walrus craft! I Heart Crafty Things has the free printable template and step-by-step instructions to get you started on this big, cuddly fella. As a super fun bonus, the walrus’s mouth opens up to make this project interactive. Kids of nearly all ages and abilities can find a way to help out with this project, either by cutting out the shapes, assembling them like a puzzle, or gluing on the whiskers.

6. Butterfly In The Sky

Butterfly In The Sky

Image source: One Little Project At A Time

These beaded butterflies from One Little Project At A Time are so beautiful and sparkly, they will absolutely be the hit of any birthday party. And the options here are endless: set out glitter in as many colors as you can find, make sure to have plenty of pipe cleaners, and of course, a vast assortment of little plastic beads. Kids can mix and match, create patterns and designs, try different hues of the same colors, go monotone, or just add colors completely at random. Preschoolers, kindergarteners, and even first graders might need some help, but older kids will definitely be able to make these butterfly crafts on their own.

7. Hip Hop Hooray

Hip Hop Hooray

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

The secret to this adorable craft is to use heavy enough cardstock that it can stay upright all on its own while your child adds their fingers through the holes at the bottom. Investing in a wide circle hole punch is always a good idea and works out perfectly for this craft; I Heart Crafty Things has good advice on which sizes are best for little fingers. You don’t need to wait for Easter to make this cute bunny, either: this craft works out nicely for a family apple picking trip to a farm where they might have rabbits to pet, or for a class project based on “Old MacDonald” and his farm.

8. “Owl” Say That’s Adorable

“Owl” Say That’s Adorable

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

The only thing kids love more than cute animals are cute BABY animals. Let them oooh and aaah over these precious baby owls that are simple to make thanks to I Heart Crafty Things. Even little hands with their still-in-development fine motor skills can get to work, because this craft utilizes the popular pom-pom-and-clothespin method of painting the baby owls. This way, too, allows the owl babies to get that extra fuzzy and fluffy look to their downy soft feathers. This project is too cute to pass up!

9. Sassy Frog Craft

Sassy Frog Craft

Image source: Our Kid Things

You may not like it when your kid sticks out their tongue in defiance, but kids will love making this frog craft with, yep, a long curly red tongue. Our Kid Things shows you how straightforward it can be to craft a simple frog face from a paper plate. Toddlers can help, too, by painting an entire paper plate green: set up some newsprint on the table and let them go wild with a paintbrush and dish full of green tempura. Once the plate is completely covered and the paint has dried, you are only a few quick steps away from finishing a sassy frog face.

10. Tropical Fish Craft

Tropical Fish Craft

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

Thanks to I Heart Crafty Things, you can help your child or students create these stunning fish without a ton of time or effort. This is one of those projects you’ll want to bookmark, as well as stock up on the supplies needed, so that any time your kids are home sick from school or just need some non-screen time fun, you can bust this out and get crafting. One of the best parts of this project is that it’s super simple to customize and personalize for each child, so no two fish will come out looking alike!

Related: Fish Crafts For Kids: 38 Simple Sea-Worthy Art Projects

11. Fun Times Eight

Fun Times Eight

Image source: Artsy Craftsy Mom

Bubble wrap is a great material to keep on hand if you live with children of almost any age (and some adults). It makes a great fidget for little squirmers, a stress reliever, and can be used in an endless variety of children’s crafts. Take this octopus, for example, found over at Artsy Craftsy Mom. With a little bit of paint, a few snips of the scissors, and plenty of imagination, bubble wrap transforms into the suckered tentacles of a paper plate octopus. Not only is this craft 3D when it’s complete, but by hanging it up the tentacles will billow every time someone walks by.

12. Cute And Friendly Polar Bear Craft

Cute And Friendly Polar Bear Craft

Image source: A Dab Of Glue Will Do

Has the winter snow in your neighborhood made your kids feel like polar bears in the Arctic? On those days when school has closed because the roads are impassable and your children develop a severe case of cabin fever, A Dab Of Glue Will Do has a craft for you. If you are caught completely unprepared to do arts and crafts at home, don’t stress: this craft requires things you likely already have. Even if you don’t have black pom-poms or googly eyes laying around, those can easily be drawn on. Now, who’s ready to go exploring some glaciers?

13. Feathery Friend Baby Chick Craft

Feathery Friend Baby Chick Craft

Image source: Kids Craft Room

Spring may be months away, but that doesn’t mean you and your children can’t enjoy this bright and cheerful baby chick! Kids Craft Room has an awesomely adorable stick puppet that will delight toddlers all the way up to first graders. The sunshiney yellow will add a little joy to even the bleakest winter day, and the feathers are soft enough to snuggle. Flip over a cardboard box as the stage and encourage your children to come up with a fun and silly puppet show for the afternoon!

14. Zebra Slime

Zebra Slime

Image source: Fun A Day

What’s better than regular slime? Colorful slime! And this slime has TWO colors to pull and squish. Over at Fun A Day they have all the advice and hacks you’ll need to pull off true white and true black slime so you can wrap them together like the stripes of a zebra. Add this slime to a safari theme along with Who’s That Cheetah? (#37) and the Keepsake Giraffe Craft (#2), make it for a household zoo, or just make it for fun!

15. DIY 3D Goldfish Craft

DIY 3D Goldfish Craft

Image source: The Craft Train

If you are done making whales out of egg cartons (see #18) but still have egg cups leftover, then click on over to The Craft Train for another underwater friend. Colorful tissue paper adds an ethereal quality to the fins and tails, while white and black pom-poms make funny bug-eyes. Whether you want to put these into a real fishbowl as a party decoration or just make these in your class for your students to take home, kids will adore these beautiful goldfish!

16. All The Animal Crafts

All The Animal Crafts

Image source: The Best Ideas For Kids

Whether your house is as silent as an abandoned forest because everyone’s glued to devices, or as wild as a zoo with kids bouncing off the walls, The Best Ideas For Kids has a whole menagerie of animal crafts on one blog page. Before attempting any of these, make sure you start saving up empty toilet paper rolls in case of mistakes, jealousy, or excess enthusiasm. Most of these animals require similar or identical materials to create, so be sure to stock up on the basics during your next trip to the art supply store. (Or click on the affiliate links at the blog page.)

17. Baby Chick Craft

Baby Chick Craft

Image source: Make And Takes

Scrapbook paper saves the day with this eye-catching craft from Make And Takes. And with bright yellow handprint wings supplied by your children, these little birds look ready to fly! Baby chick crafts are popular at Easter or early spring in general, but they also work perfectly for class lessons on farm animals, a family trip to a local farm, or just a hearty few rounds of the classic song, “Old MacDonald.” The more patterns of scrapbook paper you supply, the more unique each chick will be.

18. “Whale,” How About That!

“Whale,” How About That!

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

For a slightly more advanced whale craft (see #38), I Heart Crafty Things has this super cute little whale made from cardboard egg cartons. One egg holder per craft means you only need two egg cartons per class. After the paint dries on the whales, kids can have a blast drawing on a smiling face and adding fins and tails. But what makes this craft extra special is the pipe cleaner “water” coming out of the whale’s blow hole! This craft is wonderful for helping children learn that not every creature in the sea is a fish, and not every mammal lives on land.

19. Silly Seahorse Craft

Silly Seahorse Craft

Image source: Glued To My Crafts

For teachers and homeschoolers who are planning a trip to the local aquarium, this colorful seahorse from Glued To My Crafts is a fun way to get kids into the spirit of the undersea world. Based on the main character from the Eric Carle book, “Mister Seahorse,” this fella features tissue paper in many colors, which you can buy through the affiliate link at the blog. Mount him on some blue cardstock and use white crayons to add some fishy friends so he doesn’t get lonely!

20. Lovey Dovey Llama Craft

Lovey Dovey Llama Craft

Image source: Kids Craft Room

At first glance you’d never know that these awesome llama crafts are made out of paper plates. They look so great that everyone will think you are just the craftiest parent in the class! As Kids Craft Room shows you, all it takes is a little bit of inspiration to make this epic llama project. Whether you draw the llamas’ faces or you encourage your children/students to do it, is entirely up to you (and them). Keep the llamas as they are, or cut out tons of little paper hearts to turn them into instant unique valentines for the whole class.

21. Pretty Peacock Project

Pretty Peacock Project

Image source: Glued To My Crafts

Just because your children or students may be too young to write their names doesn’t mean they can’t make gorgeous art. If the kid can hold a piece of chalk — even in a death grip — they can help you make this lovely peacock from Glued To My Crafts. The blog provides a free printable template, for those who don’t feel like tracing and cutting a peacock shape freehand. All the children have to do is whisk different colors of chalk from the center of a piece of paper out towards the edges; who cares if they go off the paper! Pre-k and first graders can glue on the peacock’s eyes and beak themselves, and when the glue dries they have a lovely, fridge-worthy piece of art to take home.

22. Rockin’ Pig Craft

Rockin’ Pig Craft

Image source: Red Ted Art

That little piggy may have gone to market, but THIS little piggy wants to rock and roll! Head on over to Red Ted Art for this simple, fun, and interactive paper plate pig craft that will delight toddlers and preschoolers. The blog has two ways to make the piggy, so if you have multiple children making this project they don’t all have to look exactly alike. Be sure to have plenty of pink paint on hand, and get ready to go “wee-wee-wee” all the way home!

23. Little Squeaker Mouse Craft

Little Squeaker Mouse Craft

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

Wooden spoons are a popular and trendy alternative to the ubiquitous plastic spoons that seem to be everywhere. If you can’t find some in your area, I Heart Crafty Things has an affiliate link at the blog page where you’ll also find instructions for making this mouse craft. It’s truly amazing how quickly this craft comes together, and how cute it looks when it’s finished! The handle of the spoon makes a natural stick for turning this mouse face into a puppet. Or, make these in a batch and set them like a bouquet in a mason jar for a special and unique party decoration.

24. DIY 3D Penguin Craft

DIY 3D Penguin Craft

Image source: Easy Peasy And Fun

If you’ve got kids who love extraordinary birds (see #32), then check out this toilet paper roll penguin over at Easy Peasy And Fun. The pieces of the penguin are simple enough to cut out, so that you can set this up in advance as a classroom activity. Once it’s made, the shape of the toilet paper roll naturally lends itself to standing upright — or even acting as a puppet on two fingers. This penguin friend will be an instant favorite on nightstands and windowsills, or for a big imagination game of “Penguins of Madagascar!”

Related: 25 Perfect Penguin Crafts For Kids

25. Feathery Owl Craft

Feathery Owl Craft

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

Do your children know the difference between a snitch and a bludger? Have they sorted themselves into houses and donned black robes? If so, then chances are you live among Harry Potter fans. When your kid already has the round glasses and a (drawn-on, probably with your lip pencil) lightning-bolt scar, help them make their very own Hedwig, Harry Potter’s trusty owl familiar. I Heart Crafty Things has great instructions for making a simple but adorable snowy white owl (the same kind as Hedwig) that starts with an inverted foam party cup. And remember, it’s “wingardium leviOsa,” not “wingardium leviosA.”

26. Smiling Shark Craft

Smiling Shark Craft

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

If this shark craft looks too scary too attempt, never fear! I Heart Crafty Things is here to rescue you from complicated shark crafts that require lots of fancy materials and special skills. The secret to this shark is tracing two circles, and then cutting one up to make the fins. Easy peasy! Kids can take a big bite of this project by cutting out a red mouth and using a white chalk marker to color in some nice sharp teeth. And remember, fish are friends, not food!

27. Little Ladybug Craft

Little Ladybug Craft

Image source: Easy Peasy And Fun

Ladybugs are a favorite amongst the preschool set because they are colorful, tiny, and harmless. If you are a teacher planning a lesson on gardens, flowers, or ecology, definitely head over to Easy Peasy And Fun for their toilet paper roll ladybug craft. While the children are learning about how ladybugs contribute to the cycle of nature, they’ll also be going green by upcycling cardboard toilet paper rolls. It’s an all-in-one lesson and activity that will feed curious, growing minds.

Related: 20 Easy To Make Ladybug Crafts For Kids

28. Feathery Flamingo Craft

Feathery Flamingo Craft

Image source: Make And Takes

This flamingo craft from Make And Takes will instantly add a tropical theme to any classroom, living room, or party room. Start off with a plain paper plate; kids with well-devloped fine motor skills can cut out the shapes needed to make a flamingo. Semi-crumpled tissue paper adds a fantastic texturized effect. Pick different shades of pink to add depth to your flamingo. Create a whole flock of these to add a touch of pink to any island paradise. Fun fact: flamingos are actually white, but they turn pink after eating their favorite food, brine shrimp!

29. Hop To It Kangaroo Craft

Hop To It Kangaroo Craft

Image source: The Inspiration Edit

Looking for a fresh way to hand out Halloween treats? Want a truly unique valentine for your child to give to classmates? The Inspiration Edit has a free printable template you can download to make this adorable Aussie art. Once the glue dries, you can easily stick a small treat into the kangaroo’s pouch. Set these up at the place settings for a birthday party, give them away during a zoo-themed birthday party, or make them as a fun surprise for your kids. Crikey, that’s a crafty kangaroo!

30. Hanging Jellyfish Craft

Hanging Jellyfish Craft

Image source: Easy Peasy And Fun

No one needs to worry about getting stung by these colorful jellyfish friends! While you are in the baking aisle at your local craft store buying cupcake liners (see #43), make sure to pick up a few packs for this adorable project from Easy Peasy And Fun. Eye stickers and tissue paper streamers make quick work of this craft. Hang them up as part of an undersea theme or for a classroom lesson on ocean life. Hang them by a window so that the tentacles dance with every passing breeze!

31. All Abuzz Bee Craft

All Abuzz Bee Craft

Image source: Easy Peasy And Fun

Will you “bee” mine? If you are so over store-bought valentines, check out Easy Peasy And Fun’s loveable bumble bee craft, made almost entirely out of heart shapes. Even if you aren’t a member of the blog, you can easily draw hearts onto blue, yellow, and black paper. (Or simply print and trace this heart.) The bee’s head opens like a card, allowing you (or your child) to write (or draw) any message inside. Personalize each bee for a classmate, or perhaps make these just for the special caregivers in your child’s life.

Related: 34 Of The Absolute Best Bee Crafts For Kids

32. Wild Ostrich Craft

Wild Ostrich Craft

Image source: Our Kid Things

While you are taking your children or students on a trip around African countries to learn about animals(see #37), be sure to check out this colorful ostrich craft from Our Kid Things. By using plastic forks, preschoolers and kindergarteners can have a blast making this wild-looking giant bird. Ostriches are fun to look at because of their uncommon features: the big eyes, the long necks, the big bodies held up by long, skinny legs. And so this craft will be a naturally fun activity for kids to work on.

33. The Red Bird Of Happiness

The Red Bird Of Happiness

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

If you knit or crochet, you probably already have a stash of red yarn laying around; and even if you don’t, yarn is a fantastic multi-purpose material to have on hand, especially in classrooms or with little kids in the home. Take this cardinal craft from I Heart Crafty Things: no knitting needles or crochet hooks involved at all! The generous creators of the blog provide a free printable template so that you don’t have to freehand a bird shape. And while technically the cardinal can be made without yarn and feathers, it’s just so much nicer and more tactile with those special touches.

34. What Does The Fox Say?

What Does The Fox Say?

Image source: Kids Craft Room

Foxes are sneaky little creatures that pop up all over children’s literature and movies: “Zootopia,” “Chicken Little,” and “Dora the Explorer,” to name just a few. Help your child celebrate everyone’s favorite sly vulpines with a paper cup-based project from Kids Craft Room. Scroll to the bottom of the blog page for a link to a free printable template you can download to get you started. You’ll also need plenty of cardstock in various colors for this craft; the blog provides affiliate links so you can order them online. Eye stickers help your child make the fox look confused, excited, or mischievous.

35. I Am Lion, Hear Me Roar

I Am Lion, Hear Me Roar

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

No safari, zoo, or animal theme is complete without this majestic feline king. I Heart Crafty Things turns an ordinary foam party cup into animal kingdom royalty with this darling lion project. If that yarn-based mane looks time-consuming, that can work in your favor: apply the glue around the lion’s face and then encourage children or students to be super careful in sticking on one piece of pre-cut yarn at a time. By the time it’s finished, all that will be missing is a mighty ROAR!

Related: The 93 Best Zoo Animal Crafts For Kids, Compiled In One List

36. Memorable Meow

Memorable Meow

Image source: Our Kid Things

You absolutely need to bookmark this kitty cat craft over at Our Kid Things so that you can return to it over and over again. It’s easy enough to become a classroom staple or a household go-to. Any tissue paper will do (perhaps you have some leftover pink tissue paper from #28), as you can encourage children and students to get really creative with their cats. Pipe cleaners and googly eyes add a fun 3D effect that really pops off the paper plate base.

Related: Cuddle Up To These 28 Cat Crafts For Kids

37. Who’s That Cheetah?

Who’s That Cheetah?

Image source: Learn Create Love

Is there an adorable child behind that adorable cheetah mask? Why, yes there is! This paper plate project could not be easier to make. Simply click on over to Learn Create Love for the very simple instructions. Nothing fancy required here! This is another great craft to bookmark and save for a rainy afternoon or sick day, because you don’t need much more than a paper plate, a craft stick, scissors, and paint. And since no two cheetahs have the exact same spots, no two masks will look alike, either. These work as a fantastic jumping off point for imagination play or a lesson on some of the more interesting wildlife in parts of Africa.

38. Thar She Blows Whale Craft

Thar She Blows Whale Craft

Image source: Buggy And Buddy

You don’t need to take a cruise to Alaska to see whales with this craft from Buggy And Buddy. Simply download their free printable template and encourage your child to let their imaginations run wild. Cotton swabs make quick work of polka dot patterns: pop them onto the whale’s tail, head, or the whole body. The rest of this craft could not be simpler, but it will make your children or students smile with joy. These are perfect for an undersea themed mural or for birthday party decorations. Don’t forget googly eyes to make them extra fun!

39. What Are Your Koala-fications?

What Are Your Koala-fications?

Image source: Glued To My Crafts

Newspaper is grey, and koalas are grey, so upcycle some of those old sports sections into this adorable koala craft! Thanks to Glued To My Crafts, you and your child can create this unique and iconic marsupial from Down Under in no time at all. Fun fact to share with your children as they glue on pieces of newsprint: a newborn koala is only about the size of a jellybean! With their big noses, fluffy round ears, and soft fur, koalas are some of the snuggliest and most adorable animals out there, making them a huge hit with children.

40. Under The Sea Crab Craft

Under The Sea Crab Craft

Image source: Simply Today Life

Kids getting crabby from too much screen time? Swim your way over to this cute and cuddly crab craft at Simply Today Life. With little more than a paper plate and construction paper, the children can settle down to make this sweet maritime friend. There is plenty of red paint involved, so before you even think about getting started make sure you a)have lots of red paint on hand, and b)spread out some newsprint under the craft for easy cleanup. This crab craft is also a great jumping-off point for teaching children about exoskeletons and how some animals wear their bones on the outside.

41. Happy Hedgehog Craft

Happy Hedgehog Craft

Image source: Housing A Forest

Over at Housing A Forest you’ll find this adorable hedgehog craft that requires very few materials and is easy for little kids to make themselves. The clever folks at the blog even have a few tips and tricks up their sleeves for making this project — and others — run much more smoothly for those still working on fine motor skills. Why make a hedgehog? Why not! They are like much cuddlier versions of porcupines; different species of hedgehogs are found on several continents around the world, making these guys truly a globe-trotting animal.

42. Hero In A Halfshell

Hero In A Halfshell

Image source: Simplistically Living

In need of a super duper easy craft that your toddler can “help” with? Check out Simplistically Living’s straightforward, no-nonsense turtle craft! By painting an entire paper plate green, you don’t need to help your toddler color inside any lines or cut out a shape just so. While they are happily painting away, you can cut the turtle’s head and feet out of green construction paper. Either color on the eyes with a black marker, or, if you have them, glue on some googly eyes. And there you go, instant turtle!

43. Who Can? Toucan!

Who Can? Toucan!

Image source: I Heart Crafty Things

Cupcake liners have come a long way from the days of plain white, or plastic containers of pastel yellow, blue, and pink. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit with your local craft store’s baking aisle, now is the time! While you’re there, be sure to pick up the black, white, red, green, and yellow cupcake liners so you and your children can make this silly little toucan from I Heart Crafty Things. Utilize a brown paper bag for the branch, and the rest is pretty straightforward. This unusual and tropical bird craft is a delightful way to get started on a class lesson about the rainforests in South America.

Dan Wiener
Hey there! I'm Dan, the founder behind Kids Love WHAT. I started this blog as a way to document all of the things that my 4 kids love: crafting, science experiments, good food, fun games and of course lots of toys! When I'm not busy chasing them all around, you can find me scouring the web to find the next best thing to keep them busy and out of my hair!