Looking for a fun way to help kids learn about the world around them! Try this Insect Habitat Building Challenge! These paper triaramas are a budget-friendly activity that helps kids learn about what animals need with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). Plus we’ve included how-tos for some amazing Makerspace Paper Techniques that can be used long after this project is done.
What is an Animal Habitat?
A habitat is a place an insect calls home. It fulfills all of their needs to survive, such as food, shelter, protection, and a place to raise their young. Habitats may be on land or in water. Listed below are some interesting habitats from around the world. In what other habitats might you find insects?
- TROPICAL FOREST: Areas near the equator with heavy rainfall of at least 60 inches per year.
- POLAR REGION: Arctic and Antarctic areas of tundra and ice caps. Tundra contains areas of permanently frozen ground called permafrost.
- DESERT: Areas that receive less than 10” of rain a year. May be hot or cold.
- CORAL REEF: Large underwater structures made of the exoskeletons of marine creatures called coral that line the ocean floor.
- FRESHWATER: Bodies of water like rivers, ponds, and wetlands like swamps that are often filled with grasses and reeds.
- TEMPERATE FOREST: Forests that experience four seasons a year. Trees may be deciduous, coniferous, rainforest, or mixed.
Insect Habitat Supplies Needed
These insect habitats are a great, budget-friendly building challenge. You can use colorful paper like we did or even color the paper with pencils or markers before cutting and folding it. Be sure to grab the insect challenge cards and printable instructions for the project and folding techniques, too.
- Paper and/or card stock
- Ruler or bone folder (optional)
- Clear tape
- Markers or colored pencils
- Printable Insect Habitat Building Challenge Cards
Plus be sure to grab our free printable insect habitat building challenge cards and instructions for this project. Simply fill out the form below to have it emailed to you right away.
FREE! INSECT HABITAT
CARDS AND INSTRUCTIONS
Makerspace Paper Techniques
To construct an insect habitat out of paper, you’ll need to learn a few paper folding and cutting techniques. First, we’ll fold a triarama, the basis for the habitat. They’re perfect since they don’t require collecting shoeboxes for all the kids!
How to Make a Paper Triarama
- Place a sheet of letter-size paper horizontally in front of you. Fold the lower left corner of the paper upwards just until it meets the top edge. Crease the fold. Cut off the excess strip on the right-hand side with scissors.
- Fold the bottom right corner up to the top left corner. Crease the fold.
- Open the triangle. Cut from one corner to the center of the square.
- Pull the triangle to the left of the cut over the triangle to the right of the cut. Tape together with clear tape on the bottom of the triarama and a tape loop in between the two layers.
- 4 triaramas can be put together back to back to make a pyramid triarama scene.
How to Make Paper Shapes
There are tons of other fun shapes you can make with just paper, scissors, and some tape or a glue stick. Here are quick instructions for some of my favorites.
- ROLL: Cut a rectangle of paper. Roll and tape.
- LOOP: Make a roll and flatten into a teardrop shape.
- CURL: Wrap a rectangle of paper around a round object like a pencil. Let go and tape into a curl.
- FRINGE: Cut a rectangle and make lots of snips 3/4 of the height of the paper.
- CURLY FRINGE: Curl a piece of fringed paper.
- TAB: Cut a rectangle and fold it in half longways. Open and cut lines from one edge to the fold line. Bend alternating tabs to each side.
- PLEAT: Fold paper accordion style.
- CONE: Cut a circle. Cut a radius from one edge to the center. Overlap the edges and tape them into place.
- FOLD & CUT: Fold paper in half and cut out shapes from the folded edge.
- RECTANGLE/DIAMOND: Cut a rectangle of paper. Fold one edge 1/4” towards the middle. Fold the other side to meet it. Fold the 2nd folded edge to the edge of the first fold. Open and tape into a rectangle.
- SPIRAL: Cut a spiral shape of decreasing size from the edge to the middle of the paper.
How to Make an Insect Habitat
Now it’s time to use all those cool paper techniques to build an insect habitat triarama!
- Print and cut out the insect habitat building challenge cards.
- Pick a card and research the insect. What type of habitat do they live in? What are the insect’s needs for food, shelter, and surroundings? How do they raise their young?
- Make a triarama using the instructions above.
- Design and build a habitat for your insect using the paper techniques above. Which technique looks like characteristics of the insect’s habitat? For example, try fringe for grass or rolls for logs.
- Color in the insect card and use it as a decoration for the habitat.
More Insect Fun for Kids
Check out this Butterfly Life Cycle Flip Book for another budget-friendly animal learning activity.
More Hands-On STEAM Fun for Kids
Looking for some more STEAM inspiration that you can use right now? Instant gratification style? Check out STEAM Explorers!! The coolest creative experience for kids is here! It's a digital book of the month club filled with tons of fun stuff for the kids to do and learn. All engineer, teacher, and mom-approved. And most definitely KID APPROVED!
- A monthly digital magazine with cool themes that are fun to read
- Hands-on, exciting projects the kids will love.
- Science, tech, engineering, art, and math learning YOU’LL love.
- Delicious recipes the kids can make.
- Fun printables and games
In February we're having fun with spy-themed STEAM! The kids will love building a super-secret highlighter flashlight, making I Spy art, leaving their mark on sweet treats, and using science to catch a spy. You’ll love the helpful standards-based learning, printables, and tools that make STEAM exploration easy!
We’ve split the issue into four weekly themes:
- This issue has four weekly themes to inspire your kiddos:
- WEEK 1: HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT
- WEEK 2: KEEPING SECRETS
- WEEK 3: UNDERCOVER GADGETS
- WEEK 4: CATCH A SPY
FREE! INSECT HABITAT
CARDS AND INSTRUCTIONS