Otters are one of the cutest animals on the planet. They’re definitely one of my absolute favorite sea animals. This otter craft is perfect for kids of any age and would pair perfectly with lesson plans about sea or river animals. Use it in a kindergarten classroom or precut the sea otter template pieces to create with preschoolers.
This isn’t one of your typical paper crafts, since we’ll start with popsicle sticks instead. Now it’s time to make your own otter friend. So, let’s get crafting!
I bet you’ve never heard of craft flashcards…Of course you haven’t…because I totally made it up 🙂 As a pediatric Occupational Therapist, I’ve witnessed kids struggle to complete multi-step activities. So, I came up with this brilliant (if I do say myself) way to break down crafts into bite-sized pieces in the form of flashcards.
It’s especially perfect for those kiddos who have limited attention spans.
Crafts are such a great developmental tool for kids (improves motor planning, attention span, executive functioning, fine motor skills, language development and more), and using flashcards makes planning crafts for your kids to enjoy even easier.
Just print out a few of your favorites onto cardstock, cut them into the cards with a hole in the corner and place them on a keyring that you can connect to your craft supply bag (which you can fill using our master list of supplies that we stick to for every single one of the projects in the flashcard collection). It’s so simple.
And the best part is that there’s not a screen in sight. Technology is such a great thing, but it’s also nice to take a break from it once in awhile and let the brain explore in other ways. Click the image to learn more about our collection of 100 Craft Flashcards for Kids.
Interesting Facts About Sea Otters
- A river otter can weight about 10-30lbs, but the sea otter can weight as much as 45-90lbs.
- Otters are related to skunks, badgers, weasels, and wolverines.
- Most sea otters in the United States live in Alaska.
- Sea otters live on a diet of crabs, mussels, sea urchins and clams and eat about 25% of their body weight every day.
- Sea otters have the thickest fur of any animal.
- They have been known to hold their breath for as long as 5 minutes, that’s long than any of the other zoo animals I can think of.
Check out this article from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to learn more about sea otters.
Save this simple otter craft for later. Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board…
How to make an Otter Craft
This simple craft goes together in about 10 minutes, not including drying time for the glue and paint. I recommend that you complete step 1 the day before and let the glue dry overnight for best results.
SUPPLIES FROM THE BAG
- Large popsicle sticks
- Elmer’s glue
- Brown paint
- Construction paper
- Glue stick
- Black Sharpie marker
- Otter craft template
Like every craft here at In the Bag Kids’ Crafts, you will find all of the items for this project on the master list of supplies. It’s a list of just 27 basic craft supplies that fit into one bag so that you can just grab and go. Once your bag is filled, you’re ready to make ANYTHING that you see here. Isn’t that great? No more putting off crafting together until you have a chance to run to the store…start crafting memories today.
Step 1: Build the foundation
- Place 3 large popsicle sticks side by side with the center one slightly higher.
- On a 4th popsicle stick, run a line of glue.
- Lay the popsicle stick with glue at an angle on top of the other 3 (as pictured).
- Allow the glue to have plenty of time to dry.
Step 2: Paint
- Lay out some newspaper on your crafting surface.
- Create a “paint brush” by pinching a pompom with a clothespin.
- Squeeze out some brown paint.
- Paint the flat side of the popsicle stick form.
- Set the popsicle sticks aside and give them a chance to dry while you move on to step 3.
*Create a “fur” look by tapping the pompom up and down.
Step 3: Grab the otter craft template
- Grab the free otter craft template and print it out. You can print onto printer paper or directly onto brown construction paper.
- Choose a paper that’s sea otter brown to match the paint that you chose.
- Cut out all of the parts for your otter craft.
Step 4: Decorate the template pieces
- Use your markers and crayons to decorate the sea otter template pieces.
- There is no rule here, just add whatever details you would like.
- Draw on a cute little face. We used our black Sharpie for this part.
Step 5: Time for the fun assembly
- Decide what you want your otter to be holding and cut it from a scrap of construction paper. If you want to make a mother sea otter, draw and cut out a little baby otter.
- Now that the paint has dried, glue the parts of your otter into place onto the popsicle stick frame using a glue stick. *Note that the slightly higher popsicle stick is at the bottom of the body.
- Place the head on the front of the popsicle stick frame and attach the other pieces, including the sea otter feet, hands and tail, to the back.
- Then bring the arms of the otter to the front and glue the item you cut out into his/her little paws (as pictured).
This unique design leaves lots of room for creativity. Your otter should not look like any other otter…just like in real life. Each is an individual. Maybe your otter is pink with purple polka dots or has yellow stripes all over. Maybe your has 3 arms and 2 tails. There are no rules here, and the only limit is your imagination.
You might also enjoy making this Shark Craft…
What if I don’t have popsicle sticks?
If you still want to make this craft but don’t have popsicle sticks on hand, simple cut the body from a piece of construction paper or from a snack-sized paper plate that you can then paint brown. You can also use a brown paper bag stuffed with newspaper if you make the template a little bit bigger so that the arms can reach around.
What type of paper should I use for this craft?
We used a heavy weight construciton paper for the parts of this otter craft cut from a template. That’s what we always keep in our craft bag, and it’s part of our master list of crafts. I like to keep on hand heavy construction in all of the basic colors, including pink and light blue, plus gray, which typical has to be purchased separately.
You can also choose to use card stock for this craft if that’s what you have on hand. If all you have is white printer paper or card stock, simply color it to be the color that you want for your otter craft.
What glue should I use for this craft?
We choose 2 types of glue for this project. To attach the popsicle sticks together, we used a white school glue, specifically Elmer’s glue. This is perfect for this stage since it creates a strong bond on the wood.
However, we switched to a glue stick, also Elmer’s with a purple tint, for the paper parts of the craft to reduce the risk of puckering and for a faster dry time.
Do I have to use paint?
If you really don’t want to dig out the paint for this one, I totally get it. Paint can be a little messy, and sometimes that’s just not possible. Instead, simply color the popsicle sticks with a crayon or marker. The look will be slightly different, but the outcome will still be so much fun.
Another fun way to “color” the popsicle stick body of your otter is to cover it by gluing on little brown tissue paper squares, keeping them slightly wrinkly or even squishy them into balls before placing them. This has a way of looking more like fur somehow.