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!
How to Make a Forest Diorama
- playdough (we love to make our own, but feel free to use store bought, too)
- nature items, like leaves, twigs, flowers and branches
- small figurines; some of our favorites include: TOOB animals, Playmobil people, and dinosaurs
- paper and markers (optional)
- Make playdough
To start, make a batch of playdough, or use store bought. You can color it to suit your forest needs.
- Gather nature items
Next, go for a nature walk and gather leaves, flowers, sticks and twigs.
- 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!
- Add your figures
Finally, bring in whatever animals, people, or creatures you’d like to add the pretend play element to your forest diorama.
Here is a family picnicking in one area of the forest!
- 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.
The sun was attached to the window with tape and the birds and butterflies were hung from the ceiling with yarn.
Here’s a stand of heuchera blossom trees, pine trees, and azaleas. There’s a lot of diversity in this forest!
More Pretend Play Activities for Kids
- Craft Ideas for Kids that are Perfect for Pretend Play
- Small World Playdough Play for Kids
- Playdough Pretend Play Ideas
- Creative Small World Play Ideas for Kids
- Our Favorite Playdough Play Ideas for Kids’ Everyday Creativity
Pin It for Later