3D Shoebox Projects on Animals

Updated April 17, 2017

Creating a shoebox project on animals is a fun and hands-on way for students to show what they have learnt. There are many different ways to create a shoebox project that will highlight what your child has learnt about animals. In addition to a shoebox, your students can create these scenes with fun foam, construction paper, tissue paper, poster board, and miniature plastic animals or animals made from cardboard.


Students can use a shoebox diorama to display the different habitats that animals they have learnt about live in. Students can create an underwater scene, a barnyard, a desert, or a wooded forest to show the natural environment and its features of the animal they have studied. Create a 3-D effect by placing the animals and props such as trees in the background and foreground of the box.

Prehistoric Scenes

Students can use a shoebox to create a prehistoric scene showing dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. A great way to show the size differences between various dinosaur species is to create small scale models out of fun foam of several species. Set the different dinosaur models in various poses inside a shoebox with a background depicting a prehistoric scene appropriate for the time period of the dinosaurs represented.

Man Vs. Animal

Create a powerful display in small scale with a shoebox model to depict the ways in which humans harm and endanger animal species. Students can create a 3D model in a shoebox of fish being over harvested, animals being hunted for their tusks or fur, or animals searching for food and shelter after humans have destroyed and torn down their natural homes.

Insect Display

Students can use actual insects to create a display inside a shoebox. After lining the shoebox with coloured paper, students can pin or superglue various insect bodies to the floor of the shoebox. This is a great way for students to understand and recognise the type of insects typical in their area or region.

Shoebox Exterior Decoration

To add a fun twist and make for an even more fun display, decorate the outside of the shoebox. Papier mache, crumbled tissue paper, plastic building toys, or fun foam can add details to the outside of the box. Shape a display of sharks to look like the inside of a fish bowl. A display of insects can look like they are inside a frog's mouth. A polar bear might live inside a shoebox covered in a papier mache mountain. A shoebox could become part of a tree trunk to show where an owl would live.

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About the Author

Kristen Bailey has been writing professionally since 2002. She has contributed to "Northern Virginia Parents Magazine," "Washington Parents" and Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and education from Longwood College, as well as a Master of Arts in educational leadership from the University of Colorado.