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Animal House

Source Institutions

    Museum of Science, Boston

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Animal House

The goal of this activity is to design, build and test a house or toy for an animal. Learners will research a particular animal and design a house or toy that will encourage that animal's specific behaviors. Each house or toy must fit into the animal's cage, support the animal's size and weight, and be constructed of non-toxic materials. Safety note: adult supervision recommended for cutting cardboard boxes. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Cardboard boxes (Varying sizes, with tape removed; non-glossy, plain brown are best)
  • Cardboard Tubes
  • Cardboard Egg Cartons
  • Paper Bags
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure
  • Books and other resources on animal natural history


  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Biodiversity
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • Museum of Science, Boston, 2005

Funding Sources:

  • The Gordon Foundation
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services