Nearly all children find animals fascinating – even babies are delighted by furry and feathery friends, and more than a third of the average baby’s first words are animal names. And babies love learning to make animal noises, which also happens to be great for their cognitive and verbal development. (Animal noises never stop being fun either! The entire family will love this video of people from all over the world barking, meowing, and mooing!)
Some kids grow out of this fascination with animals, but by the time your child is old enough for this assortment of critter crafts, you’ll know whether you have a junior animal lover on your hands or not (which is a genetic tendency, by the way). These fun arts & crafts kits let kids build and/or decorate a vast variety of animal friends to snuggle or show off, and they make terrific birthday gifts and holiday gifts!
This company, the creators of the well-loved Sticky Mosaics, is the home of zillions of great crafts for animal lovers!
Fuzzeez Make Your Own Plush Kits, $17.99
We first spotted this cool mess-free craft at Toy Fair. To make a Fuzzeez friend, stuff the included mold with colorful fluffy wool, spray it with water, and run it through the washer and dryer, and out comes a fuzzy stuffed puppy, kitty, or teddy! The process is a bit like wet felting, and it results in a durable toy that comes out looking great.
Plushcraft Kits, $9.99 – $19.99
These fun no-sew, no-glue kits let kids customize 3D animals and pillows to display in their room! All they have to do to bring these pets to life is punch pieces of fabric into pre-cut holes using the stylus. This is a great craft for keeping kids busy for an extended period of time – bring out the Plushcraft Puppy 3 Pack for a playdate!
Glitter Petz, $7.99
Or, for more open-ended fun: Glitter Petz come with a variety of sticky gems to bedazzle unicorns, kitties, and other animals, and they have a bookbag clip so kids can take them everywhere. I love the fact that they appear to be sleeping until you stick the eyes on them – you really get to bring your Petz to life!
Sew Softies Woodland Kit, $17.99
Or, finally, for the kid who’s actually ready to learn proper sewing: this set comes with a blunt needle and pre-cut holes, so kids practice “stitching” while putting together round little pals. It’s a great first step towards real sewing – and everyone should at least know how to sew buttons back on!
MAKE YOUR OWN PLUSH
Alex Toys My Sewing Kit, $19.99 (sale!)
This set is the real deal, and comes with real supplies! Along with the pre-cut fabric, thread, and buttons, this set will supply your little designer with their first thimble, pin cushion, measuring tape, and more. The resulting stuffed hedgehog, owl, and fox will be so much fun to show off!
Seedling My Fuzzy Flamingo, $19.99
Or, for even more flair: this similar kit comes with pre-cut flamingo pieces and detailed instructions, but it also invites kids to customize their flamingo. After all, what fun is it to make your own flamingo if it looks just like the one your friend made?
Klutz Make Your Own Pom-Pom Puppies, $19.99
This craft kit is a perennial gift recommendation, because the results are SO cute – we’ve tried this kit out ourselves! Check out our hands-on review here.
Creativity for Kids Designer Doggie, $19.99
Finally, for the younger animal lover: this set comes with a ready-made plush pup and a variety of peel-and-stick felt shapes to customize the included purse. Not only is it super fun to decorate the purse, but this also results in a toy that’s great for travel, since the puppy is easy to take along for the ride!
…AND MORE ANIMAL CRAFTS
Creativity for Kids Haute Doggies, $19.99
Your family dog may or may not be amenable to being dressed up, but these silly pupsters are all on board! This set comes with three fuzzy bobblehead dogs and a ton of fun fashion accessories to make them super duper pretty. (Note: your four-year-old does not consider mixing patterns or overdoing the glitter to be a fashion violation. In the matter of fact, in her view, the more glitter, the prettier it is. Just go with it.)
Alex Bling A Piggy Bank, $18.39 (sale!) or Melissa & Doug Decorate Your Own Piggy Bank $6.99 (sale!)
This little piggy went to Magic Beans – this little piggy got glam! Try out the more traditional painted piggy from Melissa & Doug, or go deluxe with the Bling A Piggy Bank, which comes with 650 gems and will definitely keep your wee (wee wee!) fashionista busy.
Klutz Paper Flying Dragons, $16.99
Like all of these craft kits, this set guides kids in making their own toys. The difference is, these guys can fly! Follow the instructions to make 12 dragon-shaped paper planes, and then take them on magical adventures.
Klutz Make Your Own Clay Charms Kit, $21.99
Or, wear your heart (and your animal friends) on your sleeve with this cool kit! The included book gives kids step-by-step instructions for making bunnies, ducks, pigs, puppies, owls, and a bunch of other cute charms with polymer clay. (Anthropomorphic pizza, anyone?) This is another great kit for kids to enjoy together, and I love how you can easily extend the fun by just buying more polymer clay, so kids who feel truly inspired can take the skills they pick up from the book and start designing their own unique creations.
More links for animal lovers and their parents:
- Bzzzpeek.com: kids from all over the world make animal noises of all kinds!
- How to choose a pet based on your child’s age
- The best places to see animals near Boston
- 20 Reasons Why It’s Important To Raise Kids Around Animals
- Bunny steals cookie from baby