Cardboard Starfish

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Summer is the perfect time to create your own cardboard starfish! It’s very rare that you see a starfish on the beach or while playing in the ocean, so let your kids create their own using some cardboard and paint you have laying around the house. The craft is a super fun way to work on fine motor skills and to learn about the amazing creatures living in the ocean.

orange Cardboard Starfish on counter

Materials Needed to Make a Cardboard Starfish

To make your own sea star, you will need a few simple items. If you do my crafts regularly, you most likely already have these materials. Also, if you order products online, you can use your old boxes for this activity. Here’s what you will need to get started:

  • Cardboard (I used the inside of a cereal box, it’s nice and thin)
  • Paint (I used dark Purple, Blue, and Orange and then a shade lighter of each color)
  • Googly eyes, two different sizes (One large/medium and one small)
  • Q-tips
  • Free Starfish Template
  • Black marker
Cardboard Starfish

Why do you need different-sized googly eyes you might ask? You don’t but I gave my starfish two different-sized eyes to make them look a little silly and super adorable. You want the googly eyes to be just barely different sizes to achieve this look.

How to make Starfish Video:

Step by Step Instructions for Making Your Starfish

Here’s how to make your simple starfish craft.

  1. Cut the starfish template out of your cardboard using scissors or a box cutter. I would recommend using thinner cardboard for safety, but any box will work.
  2. Paint the brown side of your cardboard in your three colors, purple, blue, and orange. Let it dry completely!
  3. Use your q-tip and your lighter paint shades and add three dots in each “arm” of the sea star.
  4. Add googly eyes using liquid glue or hot glue. Don’t forget your little smile using a Sharpie marker.
collage to make starfish craft

The lighter shades of paint add texture to the starfish. While these aren’t the starfish suction cups, some kids think they are.

Fun Alternatives for Your Starfish

If you would rather not use another shade of paint, glue on some circular objects you have around the house. Let young kids glue on cherries, pieces of cereal, buttons, sequins, and anything else you can find lying around.

If you have the resources, cut a GIANT starfish out of cardboard and attach suction cups using pool noodles. Cut a pool noodle into slices (much like you would cut a carrot). Hot glue those pieces onto the cardboard sea star. Kids will love role-playing with the giant starfish and it’s a great tool to teach kids what starfish are.

orange, blue and purple starfish ono counter

Facts About Starfish

Want to give your kids some cool facts about starfish while they make their own craft? Here are some fun ones I found!

  • Starfish are not actually fish. They don’t have gills, scales, or fins like normal fish do. Scientists prefer to call them sea stars because of this.
  • Instead of swimming like fish, they move their bodies using tube-like suction cups on the bottom of their body.
  • Some sea stars have more than five arms. Some even have 40 arms!
  • Starfish can regenerate arms. This means that if they lose an arm to a predator, they can slowly regrow that part of their body back. It can take about a year or more.
  • Sea stars have eyes! On the end of each arm is a small dot called an eye spot. It can’t see much, mostly just light and dark, but this is just enough for the places they live.
  • Depending on the species, sea stars have spines, prickles, or a tough covering to protect their soft underside. This protects them from predators like birds, fish, and sea otters.
  • There are about 2,000 species of starfish in the world. Some live deep in the water, while others hang out in shallow pools of water and enjoy the tide coming in and out.
  • Sea stars are Echinoderms. Other Echinoderms include sand dollars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and sea lilies. Their body parts are all arranged around an axis in the center and the rest of their body protrudes from that point.

Pretty cool fun facts huh? Hopefully, the kids love learning about starfish or sea stars while they make their own starfish crafts!

Blue cardboard Starfish

For more starfish craft ideas and ocean animal crafts, try these fun ideas:

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