40+ Animal Habitats Activities For Adventures in Ecosystem Explorations

Kids of all ages are fascinated by animals. Our family must explore national parks or visit the local zoo on vacations. My kids are curious ๐Ÿค” about what animals eat, where they live, and how they survive in their natural habitats. 

Lessons about our surroundings and animal habitats tend to be very common during this stage in children’s development as well. This is because learning about animals helps inculcate respect and compassion for animals in children. 

Fun Animal Habitats Activities for Kids

In this blog, I am listing several games, art projects, hands-on crafts, and other projects that are interactive and engaging for kids. Hopefully, through these activities and exercises, your child will learn about a wide variety of animal habitats from around the world.  

Many of these activities were tested on my children, and they hopped on the chance to learn about animals. I hope these activities are just as fun, informative, educational, and stimulating for your children โคต๏ธ. 

Beach-Themed Art Project 

Beach-Themed Art Project

I recommend that on your next visit to the beach, ask your child to collect sea shells ๐Ÿšand clear sand in a container. Then, when you get home, ask your child to take these elements, paper, and glue to create a beach-themed artwork. 

Pro Tip:

If your kids are younger than four years old, then I will advise you to sketch a template for them to paste and color in. 

Animal Habitat Sorting Game 

This activity will improve your child’s observational and recall skills. When I observed my daughter play the game, I could see her making an effort and thinking hard to match the right animal to the right habitat.

Steps: 

  • Download several pictures of different, yet simple and identifiable, animal ๐Ÿผ habitats for your children. 
  • Then, download pictures of the animals that can be found in these habitats, at least 5 per habitat. 
  • Once done, ask your child to sort animals according to the habitat where they are found. 

Seashell Wall Hanging 

Seashell Wall Hanging

If you are visiting the beach with your children, ask them to collect several seashells of different sizes for this project.

This is a fun art project that involves collecting, sorting, and painting. Once completed, you can prominently display this wall hanging in your child’s room or your backyard. 

Steps: 

  • To make this wall hanging, you require seashells ๐Ÿš, a broken tree branch, paint, and thread. 
  • You have the option to either paint over the seashells or keep them natural. 
  • Using the thread, tie four to five pieces of thread from the tree branch and tie seashells to the end of them. 

And voila, your wall hanging is made. 

Pro Tip:

Clean the seashells that have been collected by your child, as they are covered in dirt and are sometimes filled with insects. I also recommend that you and your children sort through the seashells to weed out any broken shells. 

Draw Animal Habitat Anchor Charts 

Help your child draw an animal habitat chart. These charts about the animals ๐Ÿฆ“and where they live help your child focus on the subject at hand.

You can also make these charts about the characteristics of each habitat along with the characteristics of the animals that live there. 

It was really cute to observe my son helping his little sister with this project. The resultant chart was a truly collaborative effort. 

Make a Shoe Box Habitat 

Make A Shoe Box Habitat

Before becoming a parent, I didn’t know how much time I would have to spend at the shoe store with my kids and how many shoe boxes I would ultimately collect. If you also have an abundance of shoeboxes around your house, then this can be a really fun activity for you and your kids. 

Ask your child what their favorite habitat is and help them recreate it in a shoe box. For instance, my son wanted to build a shoe box habitat replica of forests. 

Steps:

To do this, we took a shoe ๐Ÿ‘žbox, added some artificial green grass on the bottom of the box, cut out drawings of trees, and placed plastic animals on the box. 

Feed the Ducks 

If you are visiting a local water body like a pond, riverfront, or beach with your kids, you’ll notice that there are many animals, most commonly birds, that interact with human beings ๐Ÿฆ†. This is usually because the people who visit those places bring food for these animals. 

Pro Tip:

Ask a local guide or search the internet for healthy food options that you and your children can bring, and you can feed the animals as well. We usually find ducks where we live, and my kids love feeding them peas, lettuce, and spinach, amongst many other veggies. 

Habitat Match-Up

Habitat Match-Up

Create a worksheet with animals on one side of the sheet and the habitat on another side of the sheet.

Now, ask your child to match the animal to the habitat. Not only will this exercise help your kids recognize new animals and their habitats, but also teach your kids to draw a straight line. 

Arctic Vs. Forest Animals Game 

As your child learns about different habitats, challenge them with a game of arctic vs. forest animal habitat.

Help them identify the different animals that live in arctic and forest habitats, the characteristics of the animals present in both habitats, and the characteristics of the habitat as well, such as climate, flora and fauna, and geographical location. 

Where Do I Sleep? 

Where Do I Sleep? ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Is a fun and interactive learning game that helps your child learn animals, their sleeping patterns, and about their habitats. 

What You Need and Steps:

To play this game, print pictures of different animals, like cows, fishes, snakes, birds, penguins, and dogs, and then print pictures of the place where they go to sleep.

For instance, cows go to sleep inside a barn, fishes sleep in the water, snakes slither into holes, birds sleep in their nest, and dogs sleep inside a house. 

Pro Tip:

Many zoos have enclosures that resemble the sleeping areas and habitats of animals. You can take your kids to the zoo to give them an idea of where animals in the wild sleep.

However, when it comes to domesticated animals like horses, sheep, and cows, you can visit a farm that is open to visitors and show them around the stables and barns. 

Animal Habitat Dioramas 

Animal Habitat Dioramas

Encourage your kids to make a diorama of different animal habitats using animal figurines, shoeboxes, and crafting materials.

This is another activity that allows children to use their creativity, problem solve, visualize, and use their understanding of animal habitats to create a bio diorama. 

Once I provided my children with the materials for this activity, I left the table and supervised them from afar because I wanted to see their version of the animal habitat. And the results were wonderful and creative. You should do the same with your kids. 

Create a Pond Journal 

If your child is at a stage of their development where they are learning to form sentences, then I highly recommend asking them to describe their surroundings while on a visit to a local pond ๐ŸŒŠ. 

Usually, local ponds are teeming with aquatic creatures, amphibians, plants, birds, and insects. You can also ask them to draw pictures of what they see around them. 

Adopt a pet 

Adopt A Pet

Adopting a pet is a serious commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Many of you probably already have a pet or know somebody who has a pet ๐Ÿˆโ€โฌ›. 

Giving your child the responsibility to take care of this pet will help your child understand the diet of the animals, their physical and social needs, and their sleeping patterns. 

Disclaimer:

Please don’t adopt a pet just for the sake of this exercise; bring your kid to a relative’s or friend’s house if you don’t have a pet.

It is extremely saddening to know that every Easter, many parents buy baby rabbits for their children, but then, as soon as the rabbits grow up, they are abandoned on the roadside. 

My advice:

If you are a busy parent who knows that they can’t commit to a pet, but your children want one, I highly recommend you to encourage them to volunteer at a local animal shelter, help take care of a relative’s animal, or even ask a neighbor to spend time with their animals.

Being a responsible, loving, and kind pet owner is a great trait to pass down to your children. 

Make an Underwater Magnifying Glass  

A lot of times, it can be very hard to get a look at what is underwater while visiting the local pond. That is why my kids and I made this extremely simple underwater magnifying glass. 

What you need: a large Pringles can, a clear zip-lock bag, and a large elastic band ๐Ÿ”Ž. 

Steps:

  • The first step involves removing the bottom of the can with a car opener. 
  • Cover it with a clear plastic bag, and secure the bag with an elastic band. And your underwater magnifying glass is made.  

Pay a Visit to the Local Zoo, Animal Sanctuary, and National Parks 

Pay A Visit To The Local Zoo, Animal Sanctuary, And National Parks

I have observed with my kids that first-hand experience and practical exercises are the best way for them to learn new information.

For instance, whenever we visit the grocery store, I ask my son to pick ten apples ๐ŸŽ, six oranges ๐ŸŠ, a dozen eggs ๐Ÿฅš, and so on. 

Therefore, what can be a better way to teach your kids about animal habitats than taking them to see animals living in their habitats? 

Animals Swimming in Icy Water 

Ever since my children have started learning about animal habitats, they have become fascinated with arctic animals and how they survive the frosting winters. 

To teach them about what an arctic animal feels when they swim in icy cold water, we performed the following experiment. 

What you need:

To perform this experiment, you’ll require a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water๐ŸงŠ, saran wrap, a rubber glove ๐ŸฅŠ, and shortening. 

Steps:

  • First, ask your child to submerge one of their hands in the bowl for 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • Then, ask them to make a fist and put a rubber glove on it. 
  • Then, cover their fist with shortening and wrap it with plastic wrap. 
  • Ask your child to once again submerge their hands in the icy water. The child will notice that their hand no longer feels cold. 

Pro Tip:

Explain to them that the shortening represents the blubbery fat that most arctic animals are born with, which allows them to not only survive but thrive in below-freezing conditions. 

Shell Painting 

Shell Painting

If you have a vibrant collection of shells, then this is a wonderful exercise for your toddler and preschooler. 

What you need:

For this engaging activity, all you require is seashells, paint, and a table cover for protection. ๐ŸšLay down the table cover on your child’s work table and hand them seashells and paint. Ask them to paint over these seashells. 

Pro Tip:

You can also draw them a template of flowers in a flower pot and ask them to paste the seashells in them. 

Fact Flash Cards 

You can create fun fact flashcards so that your child can read and discuss different animals. In my flashcards, I explained the animals’ ecosystem, what they eat, who they prey on, and who preys on them. 

Pro Tip:

You can create flashcards with your own set of factoids and on different animal habitats. I found these flashcards to be especially helpful to my kids when they started learning about animals and animal habitats at school because they already had some preexisting knowledge about that subject. 

Create an Animal Habitat Lapbook 

When I was a kid, I loved to make lapbooks for school projects. It was not only fun to make something visually appealing but also to learn during that process. Now that I come to think of it, I have retained a lot of the information I wrote on those lapbooks.  

Therefore, when it was my son’s turn to learn about animal habitats in school, I made him make an animal lapbook of different animal habitats. So far, we have made lap books about desert animal habitats, rainforest animal habitats, and arctic animal habitats ๐Ÿปโ€โ„๏ธ. 

Animal Habitat Photography 

Animal Habitat Photography

If you can trust your child with your phone or a camera, then I highly recommend asking them to click the photos of different animals, nests, and anything they find fascinating during a nature excursion. ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธThis exercise will help them-

  • Improve their photography skill
  • Give them a sense of responsibility
  • Help them understand the variety of life that exists in the habitat. 

Once I had uploaded all of the photos that my children had clicked on the computer, I asked them to create a collage of their favorite moments. 

Pro Tip:
Once your child is done clicking the photos, you should review them together. The photos that my children had clicked were interesting, but many lacked focus.

I used that as an opportunity to help them get a better understanding of how cameras and photography worked. And you can do the same. 

Seashell Sorting Game 

Seashells come in a variety of different shapes. ๐ŸšYou can create a chart with the different shapes and ask your child to sort the shells in the right column. On our last visit to the beach, I asked my kids to collect seashells, and they collected a small bucket’s worth of seashells. 

Some were broken, and they all were of different shapes and sizes. They had a lot of fun sorting through them. 

Pro Tip:

Seashells tend to be covered in dirt; you should clean them before you ask your kids to make art or play this sorting game. My preferred method to clean the shells is by taking a large colander, placing the shells in them, and running them through the water. 

Biome Coloring Project 

If your child is a visual learner, then this coloring project is a fun exercise to teach them about biomes. You can use this exercise to help your child differentiate between the characteristics of different biomes and the type of animal and plant life present there. 

What you need:

You can easily buy books or print out coloring templates online for this activity. 

Pro Tip:

Once completed, you can help your kids identify the animals present in the templates and even use them as a worksheet for future animal habitat-related assignments. 

Watch Nature Documentaries 

Watch Nature Documentaries

I know nature documentaries can be a little boring, but without traveling around the world, they can provide your child with information about different habitats from around the world. 

If your child is interested in animals native to Australia ๐Ÿฆ˜, then you can easily put on a nature documentary about the great Australian outback and marvel at the animals native to that area. 

Create your ocean in a jar 

Playing in the pool and going to the beach are some of my children’s favorite activities. To help them get a better understanding of what life in the ocean is like, we recreated the ocean in a jar. 

What you need:

To do the same, you’ll require- a large plastic container with a wide neck, different colors of blue cardstock paper, tape, blue thread, water, stickers, or miniature figurines of sea animals ๐Ÿณ. 

Steps:

  • Start by placing a cardstock paper of the darkest shade of blue, then place the other sheets from darkest to lightest on top. 
  • Each layer of paper represents the different ocean zones, like trench, abyss, dark zone, and sunny zone. 
  • Then, use the stickers or figurines and carefully place the creatures in the correct zones. 

Play-Doh Habitats 

On a piece of paper, draw a picture of an animal that covers the entire sheet. Do the same with other animals as well. 

Then, ask your child to use Play-Doh to sculpt the shape on the paper. You can also ask them to create the habitat for that animal on the page itself using Play-Doh. 

Pro Tip:

If your kid wants to make a three-dimensional animal habitat, then you can use loose wires or toothpicks to mold the clay around and make unique shapes. 

Visit an Aquarium 

Visit An Aquarium

Aquariums are a treasure field of information ๐Ÿ . They provide guided tours with qualified tour guides that talk extensively about marine life and the eating habits of animals. Encourage your child to politely ask questions as tour guides are more than happy to queries. 

Many tours involve children in feeding the animals and doing tricks with them. Aquariums also give the kids a glimpse of the ocean floor. 

My daughter was mesmerized by the aquatic exhibits and even had a face-to-face encounter with a sea lion, which was so cool.  

Animal Bingo 

Planning a visit to the Local Zoo or wildlife Sanctuary with multiple children? This is an amazing, engaging game that makes sure that the children are making the best of this game. 

Before leaving for the Zoo, create sheets of animal bingo and hand them out to each child with a marker or a pencil โœ๏ธ. Then, challenge the kids to find the animals on the card. 

Pro Tip:

If your children are older than the age of 8, then you can modify this game by making a bingo card of letters and challenging the kids to find animals, starting with each letter.ย 

Visit a Petting Zoo 

Visit A Petting Zoo

The petting zoo is a wonderful sensory activity for kids as they can see the animals up close, hold them, smell them, and even listen to the voices they make. These zoos also offer the children an opportunity to feed animals. 

I have learned that it is a win-win whenever you can incorporate fun with education, as children can get stimulated. In their formative years, social experiences can be very informative and educational. 

I loved taking my children to the local zoo; the guide was super friendly and tried their best to modify their tour to suit the children in the group. 

Animal Scavenger Hunt 

Many animal sanctuaries and public zoos offer maps at the gate. To make the visit to the zoo fun, challenge your kid or kids to find each animal the fastest. If you are with several adults, one adult should accompany a child or a couple of children. 

Pro Tip:

You can make the game more challenging by asking your child to look for animals that belong to the same species or country, start from the same alphabet, or are either a prey animal๐ŸฆŒ or a predator ๐Ÿฆ.ย 

Freshwater vs. Saltwater Habitat 

There are several differences between freshwater and saltwater habitats. By doing this exercise, you can help your kids understand the subtle differences between the types of animals that live in freshwater vs. saltwater habitats. 

Pro Tip:

With this activity, you can go into depth on how animals that live in saltwater have adapted to the salt in their water and how, because of the large quantities of sodium that these creatures ingest.

They expel minerals like calcium and magnesium through their urine, and that provides important minerals to the other animals and plants in the water. 

Make a Tower Animal Habitat Diorama 

Make A Tower Animal Habitat Diorama

Over the years, with two young kids, I have accumulated a wealth of show boxes. To make a tower ๐Ÿ—ผanimal habitat diorama, stack at least four shoeboxes on top of each other with the open side facing outward. 

You can use this layout to create a diorama of the different zones of the ocean or the rainforest, from the forest floor to the top layer. 

What you need:

To make the rainforest habitat diorama, you’ll require animal figurines ๐Ÿ˜, construction papers, dried moss, fake plants or dried leaves ๐Ÿชด, cardboard tubes, and pipe cleaners. 

Steps: 

  • Cover the four walls of the bottom layer of the diorama in brown paper to represent the soil. 
  • Using brown construction paper and moss, create the roots of the forest trees on the ceiling of the bottom layer. 
  • The next layer will act on the forest floor. Therefore, a cardboard tube in the center of the layer acts as a tree. Decorate this layer with animals that will be found on the forest floor, like snakes ๐Ÿ, worms, jungle cats, etc., along with dried leaves. Decorate the subsequent layers to represent the canopy and the top of the rainforest. 

Pro Tip:

I recommend this activity to older kids as they have a better understanding of different layers of animal habitats. 

Create Animal Habitats Sensory Tubs 

Sensory tubs are an assortment of everyday household items and toys that are placed in a tub to resemble a habitat, in our case. 

What you need:

To make these sensory animal habitat tubs, you’ll require empty plastic containers, construction paper, and animal figurines. 

My children ๐Ÿ‘ชand I used small, empty, and clear containers to make desert, marine, rainforest, and arctic sensory tubs. I was really proud of their results as they showed so much creativity and innocence. 

Pro Tip:

I know that as parents, we like to help our kids with their projects, but I highly recommend that rather than helping them, you guide them through this project.

Don’t collect the materials for them, and let them use their imagination to figure stuff out. 

Animal Venn Diagram 

This observational exercise helps your child use their memory and knowledge of animals and their habitat. 

What you need: Cardstock paper and land animal figurines

Steps: 

  • To play this game, make a large Venn diagram using three different colors of cardstock paper and buy small figurines of animals that live on the land, that live underwater, and that can survive in both water and on land. 
  • Once you are finished making the Venn diagram, label the three quadrants as land animals ๐Ÿฆ, amphibians ๐Ÿธ, and water animals ๐Ÿฆˆ. 
  • Ask your child to sort the animal figurines under their respective heading. This game is fun for both toddlers and preschoolers. 

Pro Tip:

You can create a Venn Diagram worksheet on Photoshop and other designing software as well if you have to make multiple types of sheets. 

For instance, in this aforementioned example, I used land animals, amphibians, and water animals. You can also differentiate animals on the basis of their eating habits, their reproductive nature, and other things. 

Sort Animal Crackers

A packet of animal crackers is full of animals ๐Ÿ• that belong to different habitats. On a sheet of paper, draw columns, and on the top, write grassland, marine, desert, and rainforest. 

Now open a couple of packets of animal crackers and ask your child to sort them before munching on these delicious treats. 

Make an Animal Habitat Triarama 

A Triarama is a diorama made from a single poster board or paper. 

Steps: 

  • To make a Triarama, take a square paper or poster board and then fold them on the diagonals. 
  • Take a pair of scissors and cut on any diagonal till you hit the center point. 
  • Now, overlap the two triangles adjacent to the cut diagonal until you can form a 3-D figure that can stand on its own and glue them together. Ask your child to draw a scene of the jungle, of animals in the ocean, or animals in the desert. 

In the case of the triarama, the base acts as a floor, and your child can draw animals on it or even place small figurines of animals ๐Ÿฆ. 

My son made a wonderful triarama on marine life, filled with facts from his notebooks. He really enjoyed playing with the three-dimensional surface. My daughter, who is still very young, also enjoyed drawing on the triarama. 

Recreate the Ocean Floor with Paint Chip 

If you have ever been to the art supply store or the paint store, then you might be familiar with paint chips.

Paint chips are little stock samples of paint colors ๐ŸŽจthat people can take with them for free. The next time you visit such a store, get paint chips in different shades of blue- from light to dark. 

Steps:

  • Now, with your child, take a piece of paper and divide the sheet into four equal zones. 
  • Paste paint chips from lightest to darkest in those four zones. 
  • This is to signify the four zones of the ocean ๐ŸŒŠ- sunlight zone, twilight zone, midnight zone, and abyss zone. 
  • With the help of the internet, ask your child to draw the animals that can be found in each zone. 

Pro Tip:

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of going to a hardware store for the paint chips and are skilled at Photoshop, then you can create the aforementioned game on Photoshop and print it out. 

You don’t even have to print the page out, instead download the pictures of the marine creatures, scatter them on your Photoshop page, and then ask your child to place the animals in the zone in which they belong. 

Make a Wave Bottle 

Making a wave bottle ๐Ÿพis a super cool art project that is fun for kids and requires very little preparation. 

What you need:

To do this project, you’ll require an old disposable clear bottle, vegetable or baby oil, food coloring, and white vinegar or water. 

Steps: 

  • Fill one-third of the disposable bottle with either vinegar or water and put a few drops of blue food coloring.  
  • Then add a few tablespoons ๐Ÿฅ„ worth of oil on top. Close the lid and shut it tightly with hot glue. Now, give the bottle to your child and then ask them to swirl. 

Pro Tip:

Once your kids are no longer interested in playing with the wave bottle, make sure to throw the bottle and its ingredients properly.

As we all know, disposing of cooking oil in the drain can clog your pipes and, in many places, is even illegal. 

Since oil is lighter than water and vinegar, you can scoop the oil and throw it in the garbage in a disposable container. On the other hand, vinegar is safe to pour down the drain. 

Make a Rainforest Terrarium 

A terrarium is a mini-ecosystem that is self-sustaining and is made in a clear container ๐Ÿซ™. 

What you need: To make a rainforest-themed terrarium, you’ll require a clear container. 

Steps: 

  • Place a thick layer of pebbles at the bottom of the container. 
  • Then, add a layer of activated carbon charcoal that keeps the terrarium clean. 
  • Follow it up with a layer of moss, some potting soil, and a small tropical plant that doesn’t grow very big. 
  • You can also ask your child to place a few animal figurines that are native to the rainforest in the terrarium. 
  • Let the contents in the terrarium dry for a few hours and then tightly put a lid on. 

Pro Tip:

I recommend opening the terrarium once every few weeks for some fresh air to get in. Place the terrarium in a spot that receives indirect sunlight โ˜€๏ธ and watch how the rainforest inside the terrarium flourishes. 

Conclusion 

This set of animal habitat activities was so much fun to perform with my children ๐Ÿง’. They had an absolute blast visiting new places, trying out new science experiments ๐Ÿงช, and making interesting artwork. 

I also noticed that when the topic of animals ๐Ÿฆ and animal habitats was introduced to them at school, they already knew so much and were familiar with the topic. 

Hope you have just as much fun with your kids when you try these activities. Leave a comment below on your favorite animal habitat activities OR if there is anything in particular that you would like me to talk about. 

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