Paper plates are an inexpensive and versatile medium to create countless activities and crafts that kids will love.
In this blog post, I’ve listed a range of activities you can do with your kids using a bunch of paper plates you have at home. 😊
Paper Plate Activities for Your Kids
My son and I enjoy using simple white paper plates to create beautiful crafts and as a medium to make learning fun.
These activities are a great way to foster creativity and improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. ✂️
Paper Plate Moon Pouch
My son and I made these adorable moon pouches as party favors for my daughter’s birthday.
Take two paper plates and use the back portions of them. Use a bowl to trace a crescent moon shape on the plates and cut them.
Kids can paint and decorate these crescent shapes. Place the paper plates in such a way as to create a pouch-like position. Glue the bottom and side edges, leaving the crescent curve glue-free.
Fill these moon pouches with toffees and gift favors. 🌙
Paper Plate Sun
An easy craft to make the star, at the center of our solar system, at home.
Get your kids to paint a paper plate with yellow acrylic paint. Cut large triangles from yellow-colored paper and thin triangles from orange-colored paper to form the rays.
Glue the colored triangles alternatingly around the back edges of the paper plate to make your sun at home. ☀️
Paper Plate Moon
My son’s favorite activity that lets himself make himself a moon to gaze at. 🌑
Choose a plastic plate to make your moon. Get your kids to dip cotton balls or sponge in different shades of gray and white acrylic paint and stamp it all over the back portion of the plate.
The key is to play around with the different shades of gray, along with the white color. A marbled effect of dark and light shades is enough to complete your moon.
Paper Plate Clouds
Bring home the dreamy clouds that adorn the sky with this fun craft. ☁️
Kids can roughly sketch cloud shapes on white paper plates; they don’t have to be perfect!
Choose a shade of blue acrylic paint and paint all the empty spaces outside the clouds to form a beautiful blue sky. You can also add other details in the sky – the sun, birds, or even an airplane.
Paper Plate Rainbow
Create a rainbow at home with this engaging activity.
Cut a medium-sized paper plate in half for the cloud. Kids can paint or glue cotton balls, covering the paper plate cloud.
Cut strips of paper in the different colors of the rainbow and glue them in order behind the paper plate to make a rainbow. 🌈
Paper Plate Fractions
Learning fractions might be overwhelming for kids, and this hands-on activity made it simpler for my son to understand them. 🧩
Assign fractions – 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/8 to five different colors of paper plates to make it easier. Measure and cut the paper plates accurately according to the fraction assigned to that color. Label the pieces of paper plates with the fractions.
You can use these labeled paper plates to teach kids about fractions and portions visually and effectively.
Another fun way to make this activity more interesting is to paint the paper plate to resemble a pizza and explain the fractions with the slices on the pizza.
Paper Plate Wreaths
Liven your decor for any occasion by making themed wreaths with your kids.
Cut out and remove the center of the paper plates, leaving only the outer rings. Kids can paint and decorate the outer rings with motifs associated with the occasion to make beautiful themed wreaths. 🏵️
Paper Plate Christmas Tree
Get in the Christmas spirit by making this miniature Christmas tree. 🎄
Kids can paint a paper plate with a shade of green acrylic paint. Cut the paper plate into four equal sections. Trim each section a little until they are smaller than the previous one. Glue them together to make a tree.
Kids can decorate the tree with ribbons, sequins, stickers, and glitter. Glue a brown strip of paper for the trunk. Finish with a star on top of the Christmas tree.
You can use the four sections of the paper plates as individual Christmas trees and decorate them in different styles.
Paper Plate Bird Mobile
My son and I made this as decor for my daughter’s room. 🦜
Draw and cut shapes of birds from different sizes of paper plates. You can use a bird outline template as a guide.
Let your kids paint and decorate the birds, add the wings with the scrap paper plates, and draw the eyes.
Punch holes in the plates and loop strings through the bird paper plates to make a bird mobile.
Paper Plate Crown
A crown worthy of your little princes or princesses. 👑
To start, kids can paint and decorate the paper plates. Fold them in half and cut two lines diagonally toward the outside rim, stopping an inch before the edge to create a triangle in the middle.
Unfold the plate and cut the two large triangles into smaller ones. Fold the triangles away from the center and make them stand upright to make a crown.
Paper Plate Number Match
An engaging activity to teach your kids one-to-one correspondence and also helps improve their fine motor skills. 💯
Take a small-sized paper plate and divide it into ten equal sections. Use a marker to number the sections from 1-10, and draw the dots corresponding to each number below it. Write down the numbers on one side and the dots on the other side of the clothespins.
Kids can match the number on the clothespins to the sections of the plates.
You can tweak the numbers and dots on the paper plates and clothespins to customize it to your preference – counting, recognizing, or matching the numbers and numerals.
Paper Plate Clock
Teach your kids how to tell the time from an analog clock with a visual and hands-on activity to make the concept easy to understand. 🕰️
Write the hours of the clock on a paper plate. Make the minute and hour hands from a thick piece of paper. Stack another paper plate below this plate.
Make a hole in the middle and glue the hands of the clock with a pin or double-sided tape; make sure they’re moveable. Make cuts between each number and write the corresponding minutes below each hour flap on the second paper plate.
Paper Plate Tennis
Play an indoor version of tennis in your living room with your kids.
Get your kids to paint two small paper plates with acrylic paint with designs of their choice. Stick long popsicle sticks to the backs of the plates to make the “tennis racket.” Underfill a balloon to make the “tennis ball” easier to hit with the paper plates. 🎾
Kids can also draw the lines on the paper plates and the balloon to recreate the strings on a tennis racket and the lines on the tennis ball.
Paper Plate Fish
The most adorable painted fish that my son loves making often.
Draw and cut a bunch of fish-shaped outlines on white paper plates in different sizes and shapes – they can be long, narrow, round, or even triangles.
The fun begins now – let your kids get creative and paint the fish by experimenting with many patterns and textures. Add eyes to the fish to finish, and you have a whole set of your unique fish. 🐠
You can use these painted fish to decorate your walls or turn them into bookmarks or even puppets by adding a popsicle stick.
Paper Plate Shells
If you can’t go to the beach, don’t worry! You can make your seashells at home with paper plates.
Draw and cut different shapes and sizes of shells from paper plates. Kids can then paint and decorate them with sequins and glitter to make pretty colored shells at home. 🐚
Paper Plate Fruits
My son enjoys recreating the fruits he eats with this fun craft to create a vibrant array of colorful fruits. 🍓
Paint the paper plates according to the color of the fruits. Use a full paper plate for an entire fruit and halves for the cut versions of the fruits. To add the details of fruits, you can use colored paper and markers.
Paper Plate Apple
Paint a paper plate with red paint. Cut a smaller circle from white paper than the plate, and glue it on the red paper plate.
Cut the paper plate into two halves to recreate the pieces of an apple. Draw the seeds with a marker. 🍎
Paper Plate Watermelon
Paint a paper plate with green paint. Cut a smaller circle from pink paper than the plate, and glue it on the green paper plate.
Cut the paper plate into two halves to recreate the pieces of watermelon. Draw the seeds with a marker. 🍉
Paper Plate Note Pocket
Store your kids’ handwritten notes in these cute note pockets. 💘
Paint the front of a full paper plate and the back of a half-paper plate. Glue the half plate to the other plate to create a pocket to add notes and letters.
Kids can decorate these plates with sequins and stickers. Add a string to hang the note pockets.
Paper Plate Doughnut
Doughnuts are not only delicious to eat, but they’re also fun to decorate – even when it’s only with paper. 🍩
Make a hole in the center of a small white paper plate to resemble a doughnut. Draw an outline of the frosting, and kids can paint the frosting and the doughnut in colors of their choice.
Decorate it with toppings – tiny pipe cleaners, sequins, buttons, or glitter to make yummy paper doughnuts.
Paper Plate Maze Game
My son loves playing this maze game, which is fun to make and improves your kids’ hand-eye coordination. 👾
Let your kids design the route from beginning to end on paper. Arrange small pieces of straws and glue them on a white paper plate to form your maze. There should be enough space between the straws to let the marble or bead pass through them.
Kids can play the game and try to complete the maze by getting their marble or bead from start to finish.
Make your kids design different types of mazes, which will let them develop their design and thinking abilities.
Paper Plate Hot Air Balloon
Kids can paint and decorate a paper plate to make the balloon. Cut a square and two thin long strips from thick paper.
Glue the thin paper strips from the back of the paper plate and stick them to the square basket of your hot air balloon. 🎈
Paper Plate String Art
Transform your basic paper plates into pieces of string art.
Kids can develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while doing this fun craft.
Trace and cut a design of your choice in the middle of the paper plate. Punch equal-spaced holes around the edge of the shape.
Kids can use a thin yarn to go across the length and breadth of the outlined shape in any direction until all the punched holes are filled. 🧶
You can choose designs to make string art to fit the theme of any occasion – Easter, Halloween, Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s.
Paper Plate Animals
Paper plates offer a canvas to recreate the faces of many animals your kids like. You can use a combination of paints and colored paper shapes to design and decorate the faces of the animals like cows, pigs, crabs, tigers, lions, and this list goes on. 🦊
Paper Plate Spiders
My son and I love making these simple and colorful spiders together.
Make your kids paint the back portions of two small-sized paper plates with acrylic paints. Cut four pipe cleaners into halves to make the spider’s eight legs.
Glue the pipe cleaners around the inside edges of one paper plate, and stick the other paper plate over them, the painted sides facing outwards. Add googly eyes to complete the spiders. 🕷️
Paper Plate Ladybug
My son and I make this ladybug craft for my daughter, who loves looking for them in the garden. 🐞
Paint a paper plate with red acrylic paint. Cut circles for the spots and a semi-circle for the head from black-colored paper.
Glue these spots on the paper plate and the head to the back of the paper plate. Fold a pipe cleaner in a V shape to make the antennae.
To show a ladybug opening its wings, use two halves of another paper plate painted red with black spots and stick them over a black paper plate.
Paper Plate Dinosaur
My son has a fascination for dinosaurs, and this was the perfect craft for him to make some of his own. 🦕
Cut paper plates in half and let your kids paint the dinosaur’s body and two clothespins in the same color for its legs, in their favorite color.
Paper Plate Snail
For the body, kids can tear colored scrap papers into small pieces – a fun way to improve their fine motor skills.
Glue these paper pieces on the paper plate, starting from the edge to the center, in a spiral for the body of a snail.
Cut out the head of the snail from thick colored paper and add googly eyes. Now, glue the head to the back of the paper plate to complete your snail. 🐌
Paper Plate Sheep
A craft to make fluffy white sheep that my son loves. 🐑
Cover the paper plate with many balls of cotton to resemble the fleece of a sheep. Cut the face of the shape from black colored paper and glue it in the middle of the cotton-covered plate, and two thin black strips for its legs.
Paper Plate Buntings
Paint paper plates and cut them into equal-sized triangles with a size of your choice. Decorate these triangles with sequins and glitter. Punch holes in the curved portion of each triangle and string a thread to hang the buntings. 🎉
You can write out the letters of a message individually on each triangle based on the occasion.
Paper Plate Ring Toss
The classic ring toss game using paper plate rings is fun to play with your kids. ⭕️
Cut and remove the centers of your paper plates to form rings. Glue two paper plates together to make one ring; this makes it more durable and easy to throw.
Kids can paint and decorate these rings. Place a ruler or a pole as the target, and let the tossing game begin!
Paper Plate Pizza Shapes
A fun way to teach your kids shapes in the form of pizza toppings. 🍕
Use a brown-painted paper plate as the base of the pizza. Cut different shapes from colored sheets of paper.
Each of the paper shapes should be from different colors to differentiate. Kids can use these shapes to top their pizzas.
Include a small table with each of the paper shapes and their names, with a blank next to it, for kids to count the number of each paper shape used and write it down.
Paper Plate Sun Catcher
Scatter sunlight in your house with a nature-themed suncatcher. 🌞
Cut and remove the centers of two paper plates. Trace two circles with the outline of the paper plate onto contact paper. Kids can arrange pressed flowers on the sticky part of the contact paper and cover it with the other circle.
Kids can decorate the outside ring of one of the paper plates. Use double-sided tape to stick the contact paper between the paper plates.
Paper Plate Animal Masks
These masks are a fun activity to make and double as a prop to play with.
Cut a small paper plate into two halves. The back portion serves as the front of the mask. Paint and design the paper plates, and use paper shapes to make the features according to the animal of your kids’ choice.
Cut two peepholes for the eyes and glue a popsicle stick or attach a string for the utility of the mask. 🎭
You can make these masks for occasions like Halloween, Easter, or Christmas, tweaking them to match the different themes.
Paper Plate Hand Fans
Recreate the classic Japanese style hand fans with this simple craft.
Cut paper plates into halves, and get your kids to paint and decorate them in designs of their choice. Glue two popsicle sticks from the back of the paper plates diagonally to hold the fan in your hands.
Paper Plate Flowers
My son and I love making these beautiful and bright flowers together. 🌸
Cut small slits around the edges of a small-sized paper plate. Cut another slit connecting the first slits around the plate, cutting out small triangles as you cut. These slits form the petals.
Color the paper plates with acrylic paint. Glue a green-colored painted popsicle stick for the stem and add two green paper leaves to it.
Paper Plate Alphabets
Alphabets written on paper plates present a range of learning opportunities for your kids.
Draw the outlines of the alphabet on individual paper plates, which kids can paint with different colors of acrylic paint.
Use these painted alphabet plates and come up with a variety of activities that can help your kids learn the letters and then form words. 🔡
Paper Plate Numbers
A fun way to make your kids learn numbers and counting.
Draw the outlines of the numbers on individual paper plates, which kids can paint with different colors of acrylic paint.
Use these painted numbers plates to introduce activities to your kids to teach them the numbers and how to count. 🔢
Paper Plate Instrument
Make musical instruments that double as sensory toys your kids will love.
Get your kids to paint and decorate the backs of two small paper plates. Attach a straw or popsicle stick halfway to the center of a paper plate, and add dried beans and corn kernels in the middle. Place the other paper plate on top and glue them with the designed sides facing outwards. 🪕
Paper Plate Shield
If you have kids who love Captain America, this is the perfect activity to make this shield with them to add to their toy collection.
Choose a thick white paper plate to make the shield. Draw four rings across the back of the paper plate, with the center ring being wider to accommodate a star.
Get your kids to paint the plate with acrylic paint according to the colors of Captain America’s shield – red, white, and blue. Add a white star in the center circle. Attach a strap to the inside of the plate for kids to hold Captain America’s shield. 🛡️
Paper Plate Frisbee
Turn your paper plates into a frisbee your kids can toss and play with outdoors. 🥏
Cut and remove the centers of two paper plates, leaving the outside rings.
Turn the plates and let your kids decorate their back portion. Bring the paper plates together and glue them with the painted side facing outwards to make the frisbee.
Paper Plate Spinning Wheel
A hypnotizing spinning wheel that doubles as a fun toy to play with.
Make a hole in the center of the back of a paper plate with a skewer. Divide the plate into as many equal sections as you want.
Kids can paint these sections in a pattern of different colors, with the opposite section pieces having the same color. Insert the skewer into the paper plates with foam circles glued on both sides of the opening.
Spin the paper plate wheels to create a fascinating pattern.
Paper Plate Aquarium
Make your underwater aquarium with colorful fishes and plants. 🐟
Paint a paper plate with blue acrylic paint to resemble the water in the aquarium. Draw and cut fish and plants from colored paper. Glue them on the paper plate with tiny seeds to make the seafloor.
Cut and remove the middle circle from another paper plate, leaving only the edges. Glue it over the first plate to create a glass-like illusion.
Paper Plate Cookie Basket
Make a cookie basket to carry your deliciously baked cookies for friends and family as gifts. 🍪
Follow a simple tutorial to make a basket from food-safe paper plates that are great for transporting your cookies.
Paper Plate Mini Cake Stand
While the cake is baking in the oven, keep your kids engaged by making a mini cake stand.
Get your kids to decorate a sturdy paper cup with crayons. Turn the cup upside down, add glue to the bottom, and place a thick paper plate over it. Make sure the stand is secure before placing the cake.
Now, let your freshly baked cakes cool, and then place them on these mini stands and enjoy! 🍰
You can tweak the cake stands according to the size of your cake – increasing the plate’s size and number of cups.
Paper Plate Art Canvas
Ditch the usual papers your kids use for their art activities and replace them with paper plates as the canvas. White paper plates in different sizes and without any designs are perfect for painting. 🎨
Paper Plate Mandalas
Kids can unleash their creativity and artistic skills by making colorful mandalas using paper plates as their canvas. A box of paints and a paintbrush is all you need to make some beautiful mandala art.
You can introduce the concept of symmetry through mandalas. 🖌️
I hope you enjoyed reading about the activities I did with my son using the simple paper plate.
Please let me know in the comments below if you liked these activities and would try any at home with your kids! ❤️
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.