Beaver craft projects are a great way for children to learn about the natural life and habitat of beavers. They are also an entertaining, hands-on way to discover one of nature's more interesting creatures. If it's possible to observe a beaver's habitat in the wild during the project, it will help children relate to and derive greater benefits out of their projects.
Beaver Dam Shoebox Diorama
Using an old shoebox, craft sticks, pipe cleaners or natural materials, children can create their very own beaver dam. Turn the shoebox on its side and build the dam in the middle using the craft sticks, pipe cleaner or real sticks either gluing together or stacking the material. Cut out pictures or use real pieces of flowers, grass and trees to glue into the background to make a diorama. Paint, colour or simulate water around the beaver dam and add a cutout paper beaver or plastic toy beaver to complete the scene.
Beaver Dam Schematic
A great learning tool is to have children draw a beaver's living environment on a piece of cardboard. You can give them a list of elements that must be included in the picture: for example, two beavers, water, dam, natural predators, trees, etc. This will test children's basic knowledge of beavers -- what they look like, where they live, what they eat and who are their natural predators. Before beginning the project, they learn all of this information and then must depict it in the beaver scene.
Hands-On Beaver Dam Project
If the weather permits, children can enjoy a hands-on beaver dam project. This can be done in a sandbox or any area where the water runs through enough soil that the children can experiment building their own beaver dam. Before starting the project, collect enough grass, twigs or sticks and stack them by the water. Using their own ingenuity, let children lay the material down until they have completed their own beaver dam. This helps them to appreciate how much work is involved in creating a real beaver dam. You can talk to them as they build it, pointing out how much more difficult it would be for a beaver to accomplish the same task.
Colouring Pages, Masks and Other Activities
Websites such as Disney (familyfun.go.com) offer printable beaver colouring pages, masks, greeting cards, and worksheets. DLTK's Growing Together Website (at dltk-kids.com) has beaver crafts to do at home, gift bags and door hangers. CD Crafts for Kids is a site (artistshelpingchildren.org) that gives ideas about how to make things out of old CDs, and one of their projects is making a beaver head. Canadian Activities and Crafts (at enchantedlearning.com) has a printable beaver poster that gives its scientific name, identifies all its body parts and shows what its tracks look like.