Get ready for a play-based look at hibernation with this simple diorama project! Start by sharing this article with your child to learn about 11 animals (besides bears) that hibernate in the winter. You may also want to read Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner (or listen to this read aloud). Next, let’s create a model of a wintry woodland scene.
What you need:
- a medium to large cardboard box
- scrap cardboard
- toilet paper rolls
- construction paper, cotton balls, rocks, leaves, tissue paper, and/or felt
- liquid glue and/or hot glue gun + glue
- woodland figurines (or you can use this smaller set or print and color these animal pictures to use)
- scissors or Xacto knife
What to do:
Start by cutting the front off of your box. Use the piece you cut off to create a “shelf” within the box. This will differentiate burrows and ponds below the snow and the habitats above the snow.
Now, decorate the various habitats! You can use toilet paper rolls to create trees (cut a hole for a hollow!) and fallen logs, construction paper to create caves, and cotton or tissue paper to create “snow.” Under the shelf, use felt, construciton paper, or other materials to create underground burrows or even a “muddy” pond bottom.
Here’s an example of our how our hibernation diorama turned out (but feel free to customize yours as desired or to fit whatever figurines you have):
Once your child is happy with the diorama, add in your figurines! Depending on what figurines you have, do research together to determine if the animal would hibernate and where it would live.
Next, your child will likely want to play with their scene and figurines. Let the free play begin!
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