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Create a Dinosaur Diorama

Last updated: December 18, 2023, at 5:32 a.m. PT

Originally published: December 11, 2023, at 10:14 a.m. PT

Kids coloring with colored pencils with dinosaur figurines nearby.

Let's go way, way back on a Jurassic journey! Gather your little paleontologists and build a dinosaur diorama with simple materials from around the home. This creative family project is not only a fantastic way to bond but also an opportunity to learn about dinosaurs and recycling.

Materials Needed

Recycled Materials:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Empty plastic bottles
  • Old newspapers
  • Scrap paper
  • Egg cartons
  • Cereal boxes

Craft Supplies:

  • Paints and brushes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Colored paper
  • Craft sticks

Dinosaur Toys (Gather any dinosaur toys you have at home to use as models for your diorama)

Other Optional Decorations:

  • Pebbles or small rocks
  • Artificial grass or moss
  • Small twigs
  • Cotton Balls (for clouds)

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Step 1: Research and Plan

Before diving into crafting, gather and decide on the environment you want to recreate—research together about the habitats of different dinosaurs. Pick a theme that excites everyone, whether it's a lush jungle, a rocky desert, or a swampy marsh.

  • Step 2: Gather Materials

Start collecting recycled materials from around your home. Raid the recycling bin for cardboard, plastic bottles, and anything else that might be useful. The beauty of this project is in repurposing items to give them a new life in your dinosaur diorama.

  • Step 3: Create the Base

Use a large piece of cardboard as the base for your diorama. This will be the landscape in which your dinosaur world comes to life. If you're feeling ambitious, you can glue smaller pieces of cardboard to create hills, mountains, or different elevations.

  • Step 4: Build Dinosaur Models

Take your dinosaur toys and involve the whole family in creating model dinosaurs. This could include painting them to match the environment or even crafting additional features like trees or rocks to accompany them.

  • Step 5: Craft the Landscape

Get creative with your recycled materials. Transform plastic bottles into towering trees or use scrap paper to create textured rocks. Let your imaginations run wild as you build the elements of your chosen dinosaur habitat.

  • Step 6: Paint and Decorate

Now comes the fun part—painting! Use vibrant colors to bring your landscape to life. Add details like flowers, bushes, or a flowing river. If you have cotton balls, these can be used for clouds, enhancing the overall atmosphere.

  • Step 7: Assemble Your Diorama

Carefully place your crafted elements onto the base. Experiment with different arrangements until you're satisfied with the look of your dinosaur diorama. This is where you can truly see your prehistoric world taking shape.

  • Step 8: Add Final Touches

Enhance your diorama with any additional decorations you've gathered, such as pebbles, twigs, or artificial grass. 

  • Step 9: Display and Enjoy

Find a special place in your home to display your masterpiece. Encourage everyone to share what they love most about the diorama and the dinosaurs that inhabit it!