Netflix & SPC: Get Crafty for Earth Month with Our Easy Diorama

Netflix & SPC: Get Crafty for Earth Month with Our Easy Diorama

Walk­ing home from school the other day with Julian, I stopped sud­denly when he gasped. What?! I looked around for what had sur­prised him. “Mom! You lit­tered!” And sure enough I had, but not on pur­pose! The wrap­per for the snack I’d brought for him had slipped out of my over­stuffed pocket and onto the side­walk. I quickly picked it up and apol­o­gized. Lit­ter­ing is a very big offense to Julian (and Esme, too). Kids are just nat­ural envi­ron­men­tal­ists, aren’t they? They love nature and think any­thing that harms it is stu­pid. Which is pretty much the truth of it.

Because Laura and I work with Net­flix, we got a sneak peak at the titles they’ll be fea­tur­ing for Earth Month. There are few things I like more than a good nature doc­u­men­tary so this is pretty thrilling to me. I’m really look­ing for­ward to watch­ing The Blue Planet: A Nat­ural His­tory of the Ocean and Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?

The other morn­ing, Julian and I started our day curled up on the couch with the iPad and Sesame Street. In a way that only Sesame Street can do, they brought to life one of Julian’s favourite con­cepts from nature: cam­ou­flage! In The Cam­ou­flage Chal­lenge, Kyra Sedgewick and Elmo do a hilar­i­ous hide and seek num­ber on the city streets and it gave me an idea for a great craft. It’s a clas­sic dio­rama with an Earth Month twist. Plus a lit­tle Elmo thrown in for good mea­sure – because, really, what does Elmo not make bet­ter? This is a fun and easy project that comes together pretty quickly. It’s a nice way to talk about our favourite parts of nature and what we can all do to look after it for Earth Month (and every month!).


pho­tos by Maya Vis­nyei

What You Need

The only thing you’ve got to have to make a dio­rama is a box. I used a pack­ing box, but you could use a shoe box or what­ever you’ve got around. The rest is really up to you. The kids loved for­ag­ing through our neigh­bour­hood for bits of nature to include. Here’s what I used:

Paint Brushes
Bit of twigs and branches
Tis­sue Paper
White Glue
Glue Stick
Play Dough
Cot­ton Balls

What You Do

Decide whether you want a hor­i­zon­tal or a ver­ti­cal dio­rama. I decided on ver­ti­cal. I cut away the side and top flaps of my box and left the bot­tom to extend the “ground”.

I had the kids paint the pine cones in shades of green, yel­low and brown.


Esme and I painted the inside of our box. Blue for the sky and green for the ground. You just need to decide where your hori­zon line will be. Ours was pretty high.

I tore tis­sue paper into strips and used glue stick to cre­ate a water­fall. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty proud of my glit­ter high­lights! I used a bit of white glue on the paper to hold the glitter.

I dabbed a bit of glue around my river and we placed stones onto it. It will dry invisible.

I took a small ball of play­dough and placed it along the back wall. I stuck a twig into it. Then I cut out pieces of red tis­sue to make a big red tree on the back wall. I held in place with glue stick.

Work­ing for­ward I used white glue to fix my pinecones to the ground.

I went online and found a cute image of Elmo and printed him out, cut him out and then used the glue stick to press him in front of the big red tree. Get it? He’s camouflaged!

Then the kids and I placed a few extra lit­tle crit­ters through­out our for­est. We also tucked a few more branches here and there to fill it out.

You can really make any­thing you want in a dio­rama – I think an under­wa­ter ver­sion would be really cool. I’m pretty proud of this project. And I’m almost ready to let the kids play with it. Almost.


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