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How to Make a Forest Diorama

by Jean Van't Hul
March 15, 2022
forest diorama featured image2

Create a forest diorama with playdough and nature items as a way for children to learn about forest ecosystems. Great for pretend play, too!

Updated May 2022

This is a super simple and fun way to incorporate a little science learning into pretend play! Let your kids create their own forest diorama with playdough, plants, and whatever little figures they’d like to add.

This is a great ‘double the fun’ activity: first your kids will have a blast setting up their forest scene. Then, they can bring in the figurines for some good old fashioned pretend play!

forest diorama pin

How to Make a Forest Diorama



  1. Make playdough

    To start, make a batch of playdough, or use store bought. You can color it to suit your forest needs.

  2. Gather nature items

    Next, go for a nature walk and gather leaves, flowers, sticks and twigs.

  3. Create your forest diorama!

    Use your playdough to create stands to hold leaves, flowers, and branches collected from outside. A twig or branch with leaves on it looks like a tree when standing up straight in a blob of playdough!

    Forest Diorama Project

  4. Add your figures

    Finally, bring in whatever animals, people, or creatures you’d like to add the pretend play element to your forest diorama.

    Forest Diorama Project

    Here is a family picnicking in one area of the forest!

  5. Add some more wildlife (optional)

    You may decide to add a little more wildlife to your forest. We drew a sun, fish, butterflies, birds, worms, and logs on paper and then cut them out to add to the forest.

    Forest Diorama Project

    The sun was attached to the window with tape and the birds and butterflies were hung from the ceiling with yarn.

Forest Diorama Project
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

Here’s a stand of heuchera blossom trees, pine trees, and azaleas. There’s a lot of diversity in this forest!

Forest Diorama Project
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

More Pretend Play Activities for Kids

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How to Make a Forest Diorama

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