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Make your own animal sculpture inspired by the Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture exhibition.

Did you know ...

A colour photograph of a boy holding a bright orange and grey craft item.

You can use modelling clay or Play Dough to create an animal sculpture that represents your personality.

Do you laugh a lot? Perhaps you could be a kookaburra. If you’re a fast runner, you might be a rabbit. Or perhaps you like lying in the sun. Are you a lizard?

How to make an animal sculpture

Skill level: ★ Easy
30 minutes
Ages: 5 years and up

What you need:

  • air-dry clay or playdough, stored in an air tight container
  • a knife and a fork ... not for eating your clay but for cutting and pressing some of the shapes you might like to make!
  • things to decorate your animal. These might include wire, string, cardboard, matchsticks and other objects from the garden or the recycling bin.


  • Imagine what animal would best represent your personality. Will it be a real animal or one that you make up? Will it have scales and claws or be fluffy with wings?
  • Think about the kind of shapes your animal has and what materials you’ll need
  • Make the body of your animal
  • Make the head of your animal.

Tip: Make the shape of your animal and then decorate it. The clay looks great with things poked into it and added along the way.

Experiment with:

  • pressing a fork into the clay
  • mixing different colours
  • using things around the house for decoration.


Here are a few examples of animal sculptures made by kids who visited the Museum. To help get you started and provide some inspiration, look at the different colours and textures and how different materials have been used to decorate these sculptures.

A colour image featuring three hand-crafted sculptures.

Share your creation

Share your creation with us by sending a photo to:

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