Make Animal Footprints for Kids’ Playtime in the Sand

Let your kids leave tracks wherever they wander on the beach with these DIY animal footprints.

Related To:

Walks on the beach are a must this summer, and while I’m easily occupied looking for new pieces of beach glass, we like to let the kids roam and explore in the sand and at the water's edge. This year, I’m entertaining them with toys that let them leave little bird footprints in the sand everywhere they wander. It's a perfect toddler past time, but fun for kids of all ages with a good imagination.

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

Learn how to make wearable animal footprints to entertain the kids at the beach.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

Of course, you can have all kinds of fun putting your own spin on this project – get creative with other types of footprints, like those of a dog, deer, bear, rabbit, just to name a few ideas.

To make your own, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

  • a pair of old foam flip flop sandals
  • a 1/4” piece of stain grade plywood
  • (2) 4” long pieces of 1” dowel
  • jigsaw
  • sandpaper
  • cordless drill and 1/4” drill bit
  • pencil
  • utility knife
  • scissors
  • matches
  • hot glue and hot glue gun
  • paracord (roughly 10-feet long)

Begin by cutting two “footprints” out of the plywood using the jigsaw. As a template, you’ll be safe using a pair of shoes that currently fits your child. Sand down all of those rough edges. A little elbow grease will not only smooth away the splinters, but will also round the edges of the plywood slightly for a nice finish.

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

Learn how to make wearable animal footprints to entertain the kids at the beach.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

Next, take a pair of old foam sandals and on the bottom, sketch your animal footprint. 

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

Learn how to make wearable animal footprints to entertain the kids at the beach.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

Use an utility blade to cut the foam footprint, and in the wood, drill two holes on each piece of wood. Not shown, you should also drill through the pieces of dowel which will become handles for the paracord. The paracord is going to wrap through the holes on the feet, and extend up through the dowel handles.

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

Learn how to make wearable animal footprints to entertain the kids at the beach.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

The foam pieces can simply be hot glued to the bottom of the plywood, and those shoes are ready for walkin’!

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

Learn how to make wearable animal footprints to entertain the kids at the beach.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

As you can see in the above photo, the paracord wraps underneath the arch of the foot and actually feeds through a small hole in the foam. It’s easy to make the length of the handles adjustable using an adjustable knot so that the toy can be worn comfortably by children ranging in height. Keep in mind that wherever you cut the paracord, you’ll want to melt the ends to prevent fraying (that’s why matches are recommended in the materials list above).

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

Learn how to make wearable animal footprints to entertain the kids at the beach.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

We have a variety of similar shoes intended for use in the snow, so conceptually I like the idea that these could be enjoyed all year around. Additionally, they can be worn with or without shoes, so if your kids prefer to wear water shoes in the sand, they’re still a fun accessory to pack for a day at the beach.

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

DIY Wooden Beach Footprint Toys

Learn how to make wearable animal footprints to entertain the kids at the beach.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2016

Emily Fazio, 2016

Enjoy tagging along with your little birdies by following their tracks.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Make Dad This DIY Pasta Measuring Tool

For a dad who loves gadgets, a customized pasta measuring tool is an easy and fun DIY gift this Father’s Day.

Kid-Friendly Wooden Stamps

Find out how to upcycle ordinary branches into a fun and easy summer craft project.

Make This DIY Dyed Sand for Summer Crafts

Get creative with a homemade colorful sand kit, and entertain the kids all summer.

How to Make a Paper Airplane

Learn the simple steps for high-flying fun with this tutorial on five basic paper airplane patterns.

How to Make a DIY Chalkboard

Learn how to make a colorful chalkboard for a kids' room using laminate plywood, paint and primer.

Make a Father's Day Tabletop Valet

Keep dad organized with this simple woodworking project. 

Make Your Campfire Magical with a DIY Swedish Torch

Host a shindig with a campfire that will burn, baby, burn with little maintenance. S’mores, anyone?

#WineWednesday: How to Make a Wine Cork Wreath

Do you have a collection of wine corks that you don't know what to do with? Turn them into a decorative wreath. 

See What the Buzz Is About: Make a DIY Wasp-Catcher

Upcycle an old wine bottle into a pretty wasp trap that can adorn your porch or patio this summer.

Simple Chic: Make a Japanese Knot Bag

This stylish fabric bag you make yourself is a great carry-along for your next farmers' market trip.

What We're Loving Now

We're crushing on these trends, recipes and DIYs.

More From the Archives

Browse through our archives to discover "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" projects, cool hacks and  genius DIY ideas.

Read Our Previous Posts

Meet the Team

About the Team

Get to know the crafty, creative writers and editors behind DIY's Made+Remade blog. 

Go Behind the Blog