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Tidepool Craft

Tidepools:   1   2   3   4   5  6   7

How to model: Starfish & Anemone   Crab & Chiton     Limpet & Barnacle

More about modeling clay:   Basic modeling skills and books   Types of modeling clay

Make a mini-tidepool craft...

Primary students love this mini tidepool craft.

A sturdy paper plate creates the base. Another sturdy or lighter weight paper plate with the center cut out and a cellophane window added, creates the effect of peeking through the water.

To help students learn the names and characteristics of each tidepool animal, use the name often as you go through the step-by-step modeling instructions.

Tidepool craft

To model the animals, first choose a material. If you would like the creations to permanently dry and be painted, use Modeling Magic™ or a homemade bread clay. Otherwise use a modeling clay such as Plasticine™.

The animals in the images were made with Plasticine™. Playdoh™ does not work well for this type of craft, as it cracks when it dries.


Tidepool craft - materials Tidepool craft - closeup Tidepool craft - lid shut Tidepool craft - lid open


Bottom or base of tidepool - sturdy paper plates
Top or lid of tidepool - a lighter weight paper plate but not floppy. Precut the circle out of the lid plate for students
Packing tape
Rock colored paint and sponges for sponge painting the base and lid
Yellow cellophane


1. Have students sponge paint the base with a variety of gray and white paint.

2. The next day when the paint has thoroughly dried, each student prints their name on the lid of the tidepool so for easy identification without turning the tidepool over.

Then help each student tape a circle of cellophane into the inside of the lid.

3. Make a hinge by attaching the base to the lid on the outside with a piece of packing tape. Put another piece of packing tape on the same place on the inside of the base and lid.

4. As each organism is created with modeling clay, have the students add it to their tidepool craft.

Modeling the animals:

Follow the links below for step by step instructions on how to model each animal:
Tidepool Craft - Starfish & Anemone
Tidepool Craft - Crab & Chiton     
Tidepool Craft - Limpet & Barnacle

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