The panda is a large animal that belongs to the bear family, but it is also genetically related to raccoons. This endangered species lives in bamboo forests in China's mountainous regions. A common panda habitat must include a thick stand of bamboo, the panda's favorite food. Its home can also feature trees for climbing, a cave for raising young cubs and a water source. Creating your own model panda habitat for a school project or for leisure helps you learn about and understand the animal's natural behavior and lifestyle.
- Shoe box
- Green paint
- Brown paint
- Blue paint
- Light green paint
- Green construction paper
- Two small blocks of floral foam
- Decorative moss
- Small twigs with branches
- Small and medium sized rocks
- One or two small toy pandas
Remove the lid from the shoe box. Use the paintbrush to paint the bottom of the box with patches of green and brown to represent the ground. Paint inverted "V" or "U" shapes around the sides of the inside of the box to represent the panda's mountain habitat. Paint the remaining spaces on the sides blue to represent the sky.
Spread out a sheet of newspaper and add a puddle of light green paint to the surface. Roll several toothpicks around in the paint so that they become completely light green to represent bamboo stalks, the panda's primary food source. Allow the painted toothpicks to dry.
Cut several small, elongated triangles from the green construction paper using scissors. Poke a hole in one of the triangles using the tip of a toothpick, then slide the impaled triangle further down the toothpick. This represents the leaves of the bamboo. Continue placing paper triangles on the toothpicks until each toothpick has two or more leaves on its stalk.
Hold the toothpicks upright and insert their bottom tips into one of the small floral foam blocks to create a stand of bamboo. Glue the bottom of the block into one of the corners of the shoe box. Cover the block with decorative moss.
Insert one of the twigs vertically into the second floral foam block. Glue the block down in another corner of the shoe box. Cover the block with decorative moss. This represents a tree that the panda climbs to avoid predators and to rest.
Glue the rocks to the bottom of the shoe box and on top of each other to form a rock pile. Build the pile up so that there is a gap in the rocks near the bottom. This represents a cave where a female panda can raise her cubs.
Apply a small circular shape with the blue paint to an empty space at the bottom of the shoe box. This represents a small pool where the panda can cool off.
Glue a few twigs to the bottom of the shoe box to represent fallen logs.
Complete the model by placing one or two small toy pandas into the shoe box.
Things You'll Need
About the Author
Sarah Clark has been writing since 1997, with work appearing in Northern Arizona University's "Student Life Organization Newsletter." She holds a B.A. in anthropology with a minor in art history from Northern Arizona University.