Diorama Art

parenting advice

A diorama is a model that depicts a scene with 3-dimensional figures. It is usually presented in an enclosed space, some sort of frame or box.  You may have seen dioramas in a window display in a museum or at holiday times in a storefront.

4-5 with help
6+ independently

Children usually love things in miniature, but remember that little fingers often need help. Look out for signs of frustration and for the younger children. The younger the child, the bigger the box.


  • a box or frame with a back, or old Styrofoam igloo container, etc.
  • glue
  • tape
  • poster paint
  • construction paper
  • small toys that your child no longer wants to play with–you know, the ones you can’t wait to get rid of that are cluttering the living room. You could also use objects from nature, like sticks, pinecones, moss, dried flowers

I’ve always been fascinated by dioramas. I have vague memories of shoeboxes and glue from when I was a child, but mostly these memories are related to science projects and book reports.

It recently occurred to me that this might be a fun activity to do on a rainy day–and at the same time recycle some old toys that you might want to throw out. You can also use other objects destined for the recycle or trash bin, like stale marshmallows, used corks (they make great diorama chairs), Styrofoam packing peanuts, random bits of wrapping paper, etc.

You can tie this project at home with anything your child is interested in. A story you are reading, a movie they recently saw, a family event for example.

For instructions and inspiration: