Rainy day activity: make an underwater shoebox scene

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Inspired by our newly-released books for animal lovers, The Animal Book and How Animals Build, we’ve decided to dive into the deep and create an underwater animal scene in a shoebox! Print out our sea creatures, then follow the simple step-by-step guide below to make your own ocean odyssey. Don’t forget to ask for an adult’s help when using the scissors.

You will need:

  • Newspaper
  • Activity sheet
  • Paintbrush
  • Blue and yellow acrylic paint
  • Green or blue tissue paper
  • Sticky tack
  • Sticky tape
  • Cup of water
  • A selection of rocks and shells
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • String

Step one

Gather your equipment!


Step two

Remove and discard the lid from the cardboard box. Painting the inside of the box, cover the back, sides and top in blue and leave to dry.


Step three

Paint the remaining panel on the bottom yellow to represent the seabed.


Step four

Ask an adult to help you use scissors to cut out the colourful sea creatures. You can leave a blue border on most of them to camouflage against the blue background of the scene!


Step five

Fold and stick tape onto the back of a selection of your sea creatures, then secure onto the back of your scene wherever you like.


Step six

With some of your sea creatures, such as starfish, shells and sea urchins, you can cut the designs without any blue border and stick them onto shells or pebbles you've collected, to sit on the seabed!


Step seven

Mould a large piece of sticky tack into a ball. Then cut pieces of pipe cleaner into smaller wires and push into the sticky tack to secure. Bend the pipe cleaners slightly so that they create the effect of a wiggly sea anemone in the waves!


Step eight

Use some more colourful pipe cleaners to twist and bend into sea coral shapes. Attach the pipes to one another by twisting the ends tightly around the adjoining pipe and bend in places accordingly, then use sticky tape to secure it to the shoebox scene.


Step nine

Using different lengths of string and sticky tape, attach your remaining sea creatures to the top of the shoebox.


Step ten

Add the rest of your stones, shells, sea creatures, sea anemones and coral to your scene.


Step eleven

Cut long, thin strips of green tissue paper to form seaweed.


Step twelve

Attach the tissue paper on either side like flowing seaweed curtains. Voila! You've created a busy underwater ocean scene to display at home!


Share a snap of your finished creation with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Feeling inspired? Check out last month’s Lonely Planet Kids activity.

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