DIY Animal Costumes

When we study Animal Adaptations, we can make animal costumes. As you make them, you can talk about why that animal has those features – how the elephant’s ears help him to hear, how the pig’s snout helps her smell, how the leopard’s spots help it to sneak up on its prey.

Animal Headbands

If you have a plain headband, a glue gun, and any craft supplies, like felt, fake fur, pipe cleaners and so on, you and your child can make animal headbands together. I collected some pictures to inspire us – see them on Pinterest. Here’s what we made in class. (Note, if you’re ever making these for a class or a party, you can order really cheap Plastic Headbands from Amazon.)


You could also just use paper. Just search “preschool craft paper headband” and you’ll come up with ideas like these. (Bat, Piggy, Spider, Turkey)

Animal Noses

You could also make animal noses with egg cartons and elastic bands. Or with paper cups and strings. Or paper plates and popsicle sticks. Or 3-d cardboard masks you can cover with fake fur. I saved several ideas on my Pinterest page, here’s a few to get you started:

You could also make a full face from a paper plate or two…

cym whale

Face Paint

Face Paint is another easy option for decor. Here are some kids from my class with their face paint and headbands.

IMG_20180331_113339293 IMG_20180331_112727033 IMG_20180331_110807881

What if you don’t have facepaint at home? Using regular watercolor or acrylic paints is  not ideal – it can cause allergic reactions, or can stain skin, or flake off and thus not look good. You could use makeup – eye pencils, eye shadow and such that is designed for using on the skin. (I had a friend in college color most of her body green by mixing green food color into foundation / base. It mostly washed off – she just had a light green tinge for a few days.) You can find recipes for homemade face paints online, but I have not tried these.

And more…

Search online for more DIY costume ideas. You’ll find ideas for making animal tails, animal paws, and lots more!

Fraidyzoo Book as Inspiration

fraidyzooFraidyzoo by Heder is a FABULOUS book. (YouTube readaloud of Fraidyzoo)  It tells the story of Little T, who is afraid of going to the zoo, but she can’t remember which animal she is afraid of. Her family says they won’t go to the zoo till they figure it out. They spend the whole day going through the alphabet, asking “does it start with an A (miming an alligator) or B (holding a red scarf for a bull) or C (using a blanket and three people to form a two humped camel). It gets more and more complex, as they build animals from bubble wrap, cardboard, oven mitts, mops, umbrellas, empty water bottles and more. By the end of it all, little T is excited to plan a zoo trip for the next day. Nice book about a family playing together, building together and empathizing with each other’s fears. Age 3 – 7.

You could read this book, and use it to inspire your creations. Here are some illustrations from the book.

  gir ele

Here are some actual costumes built by the book’s author, found on her blog. (In this video, she reads the book aloud, and shows you how to make a cardboard zebra mask.)

What kind of animal do you think would be the most fun to re-create?


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