This platypus craft starts with recycled newspaper and is fun to make for any age. The tearing and crumpling of the paper is perfect for working on bilateral coordination (which just means working the hands together and is a vital foundation skill for things like using scissors, writing, buttoning and, really, just about anything we do in life). Plus, this platypus craft idea can be customized however you like, which leaves lots of room for the imagination and creative play. Even better, you can play with the platypus when he’s done, creating stories for days. Maybe he makes friends with the teddy bears in your house and goes on an adventure.
Or maybe he becomes a Perry the Platypus craft and goes on secret missions. To achieve this, just paint the newspaper his blue color. Make the bills, feet and tail yellow or orange. And then, of course, make him a little brown hat. Otherwise he’s just like every other playpus, right?
Save this Platypus Craft for later. Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board…
A few Platypus Facts
I have always found the platypus to be absolutely fascinating. The first thing that you should know is that they ARE real. And even though they are mammals, they lay eggs, which is rare. They spend about 12 hours every day underwater looking for food. To make this possible, they have several layers of fur that trap air to make them more waterproof and, also, to keep them warm. They’re very cute (I think you’d agree), especially the babies, but they can be a little bit dangerous as they also have a venom that they use to protect themselves.
Unfortunately, there are many fewer platypuses these days. That’s mostly due to the destruction of their habit by fire, droughts, land clearing, etc. So, it’s important for us to work to protect this special and unique animal species.
SUPPLIES FROM THE BAG
- Recycled newspaper
- Construction paper (colors of your choice)
- Glue stick
- Googly eyes (options)
- Platypus craft template
Recycled newspaper is one of the things that we always keep in our kids’ craft bag because it is so versatile. You can use it as a supply for making crafts and also as a tool for managing the mess of crafting. It’s one of the 27 items that are on the master list of supplies that we stick to for every single creative project on this site. Once you fill your bag with these basic supplies (most of them you already have right in your home now), then you will be ready to craft along and make every single project on this site.
If you are looking for a way to make crafting even easier and a way to work it into your weekly schedule, be sure to pick up our FREE Craft-a-week calendar. Start it any time in the year to help make creating with your child so much simpler.
Platypus Craft Instructions
Step 1: Cut the Recycle Newspaper
- Find a section of newspaper that is mostly just black and white print, without pictures.
- Keep the newspaper folded so that there are 2 layers.
- Then cut a large oval shape out of your newspaper. It may be easier to first draw the oval with a marker and then cut it out, especially for little ones.
*You can also choose to use the comics for this kids’ craft instead to give it a more colorful look.
Step 2: Use the Platypus Craft Template
- Print out the craft templates provided for this project in the resource library. (If you do not have access to a printer, simple draw the elements for your playpus, including flippers, a bill and a tail).
- Choose a color of construction paper and use the template to make 4 flippers for your animal craft. We used a stapler to keep 2 pieces of construction paper and the template held together while cutting. This is a trick we learned from our friends over at Crafting Jeannie.)
- Then pick a color for the tail and cut it from construction paper using the template.
- Last, choose a color for the platypus bill and use the template to cut it out also. Now you have all of the pieces that you will need for this simple paper craft for kids.
Step 3: Add the Tail and Flippers
- Layer your 2 pieces of newspaper ovals together and sandwich the tail in place between them.
- Secure it with a few staples.
- Then do the same with the platypus flippers.
- Staple around the outside of the newspaper oval, with the staples being about 1/2″ apart. Leave about 5″ at the top of the oval open so that we can add the stuffing.
Step 4: Stuff Your Newspaper Craft
- Tear strips of newspaper and crumple them up.
- Place them one at a time into the opening of your platypus craft until the animal is stuffed but not overstuffed.
- To finish it off, pinch the opening shut and close it off with some more staples.
Step 5: Add the Platypus Bill
- Take the bill that you cut out in step 2 and glue it in place on the body of your platypus.
- Press down and give the glue a minute to take hold.
Step 6: Finish Off with Some Details
- For some finishing touches, get out your markers and add details to your platypus craft, like webs on his feet, markings on his tail and nostrils on his bill.
- Either draw on eyes or add the googly eyes to your simple craft to finish it off.
- Now your platypus is ready to go on an adventure!
Watch the Platypus Craft video
If you liked making this playpus craft, you may also enjoy some of our other newspaper crafts, like this panda bear craft, this stuffed penguin or the koala bear. It’s amazing what you can do with a stack of recycled newspaper. To find more crafts using newspaper, just put newspaper into the search bar. It’s so much fun, you are not going to want to stop at one.