Stacks of paper plates aren’t just for picnics and barbecues. Using just glue, paint, scissors and a bit of imagination, you can turn them into marvellous works of art. These fun paper plate crafts projects will not only engage kids but also encourage side-by-side play, prompt creative storytelling and practice fine motor skills.

Make a Roaring Lion

For easy paper plate crafts for kids to make, try animals such as lions.

Have fun creating your own pride of lions. Preschoolers will love practising their scissors skills in this DIY project. They’ll need to cut the whole way around the plate to create the mane – an excellent way to perfect fine motor skills. And you can talk about the many different collective names for animals, too: prides, packs and more.
Step 1: Paint the centre circle of the plate yellow. Leave to dry.
Step 2: Paint the outside circumference with the brown paint. Leave to dry completely before the next step.
Step 3: Cut snips all around the brown section, about 1 cm apart, and then “ruffle” them to appear like a mane.
Step 4: Glue on the eyes and nose.
Step 5: Draw on a mouth, whiskers and eyelashes.

What You’ll Need

Easy kids paper plate crafts: what you need to make cool lion faces

Find the Rainbow Connection

Fun paper plate crafts: a rainbow is an easy project for kids to make on their own.

All kids love rainbows. This multicoloured circular arc will cheer them (and you!) up even on the dreariest day. The different textures (painted plate, cotton balls and crepe paper) give this project a multi-sensory experience. Hang the finished rainbow up and watch the breeze blow the colourful streamers around. Extra bonus point for conversations around reflection, refraction and spectrums of light.

Step 1: Cut a paper plate in half.
Step 2: Paint the arches of colour one at a time, leaving each colour to touch dry before painting the next.
Step 3: Glue 5-6 cotton balls together onto the bottom left and right of the rainbow. These form the “clouds”.
Step 4: Cut 2 cm wide strips of crepe paper in colours matching the painted arches and glue to the rainbow.
Step 5: Hang in the breeze.

What You’ll Need

What you need for easy kids paper plate crafts: make a rainbow

SEE ALSO: 5 Fun DIY Paddle Pop Stick Craft Ideas

Cut Up a Playful Fruit Plate

Fun paper plate crafts for kids: make watermelons, lemons and other fruits

Let the kids' imaginations run wild with paper plate crafts and see how many fun fruits they can make. Get them to create a whole fruit salad! Older children could write the names on the back of the fruit to practice spelling and their letters.

Step 1: To create a watermelon, mix equal parts of pink and red paint together and paint a circle in the centre. Leave until touch dry.
Step 2: Paint the outer circumference in green, making sure to leave a 1 cm gap of white between the green and red colours. Leave to dry completely.
Step 3: Mark the pips with a black marker.
Step 4: Cut the plate in half.
Step 5: See how many other fruits they can master – try apples, oranges, kiwifruit, lemons, grapefruit and maybe even a rockmelon!

What You’ll Need

What you need for easy kids paper plate crafts: making colourful fruits

Weave a Mini-Masterpiece

Fun paper plate crafts for kids: teach them weaving with this easy DIY

Get those little fingers working! Kids will love this clever DIY project which will boost their concentration and fine motor skills. Get preschoolers to choose coloured threads and discuss names of colours and what letter the colours start with. Older kids can try incorporating different pretty patterns into their weaving.
Step 1: Cut 12 slits, each 5 cm in length, all around the edge of the paper plate. Puncture a small hole in the middle of the plate.                           
Step 2: Thread blue thread through the middle hole and then around and through each slit until all the slits have thread through them.
Step 3: Wrap coloured thread around paddle pop sticks.
Step 4: Weave the paddle pop stick and thread under and over the blue twine round and round the plate. Change colours of twine to create rings of colour. Tuck excess yarn under to secure.           

What You’ll Need

Easy kids paper plate crafts: what you need to teach them how to weave

Create a Fun Ring Toss

Fun paper plate crafts and games for kids: make a ring toss

This easy craft activity for kids is good for creativity; they can create an ombré effect painting in any shades they like, and then can practice fine motor skills as they cut out the hole. TIP: vary the size of the hole depending on the level of difficulty you would like for the game. The bigger the hole, the easier it is. Take it outside, slide the ruler into some soft lawn and aim your rings for the ruler (a fun way to teach both patience and hand-eye coordination). Now play!
Step 1: Blend white and yellow paint together and paint one side of the plate in a stripe.
Step 2: Add more yellow into the paint for a more vibrant yellow and paint another stripe on the plate.
Step 3: Add some red to the mixture, stir and paint orange colour onto the plate.
Step 4: Add some more red to the mixture for a more vibrant red and paint onto the plate.
Step 5: Add some blue into the mixture and paint onto the plate.
Step 6: Add some more blue to the mixture for a more vibrant colour and paint onto the plate.
Step 7: Allow plates to dry and cut a hole in the plate. Vary size of the hole depending on the level of difficulty you would like for the game. The bigger the hole, the easier it is!
Step 8: Repeat for as many plates you would like to make for your game.
Step 9: Use a ruler as your stand; pop it upright in the lawn and aim the rings so they slide over the ruler. And enjoy the game!                          

What You’ll Need

Paper plate crafts for kids: what you need to make a fun ring toss game