Paper Plate Easter Baskets

easter basket craft This is a classic craft that you may have even done in preschool or at church as a child. I am not sure when I first made this craft but I made more than one as a child and dozens of paper plate Easter baskets with groups of kids over the years. Often I forget to do these old favorites with my own kids but when my daughter was pretending to use the silverware basket from our dishwasher as a purse it brought back memories of this craft and I knew what we were going to do. Here is how you can make your easy paper plate Easter basket.

Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, some ribbon, tissue paper, scissors, glue, a paint brush, small dish, hole punch and stapler with staples.easter basket supplies

Start by cutting your tissue paper into manageable pieces and pouring your glue into the dish.paper plate easter baskets for kids

Cover the plate in glue spreading it thin if possible.easy easter basket craft for easter

Pop the tissue paper on. tissue paper easter basket craft for kidsYou can glue on more than one layer adding on more glue as needed.tissue paper collage easter basket for kids

Let dry.

Cut in half.easter basket craft for kids an toddlers

Staple the two sides together and punch a hole on either side adding ribbon for a handle. This basket isn’t big enough for plastic eggs but is perfect to search for little ones and it can’t hold too much so you can keep it simple for little ones. I like using them to pop little encouraging notes in leading up to Easter.easter basket craft for kids

Easy Paper Plate Craft – Butterfly

paper plate butterfly craft We love simple crafts that can be set up and made using only a few materials and done in those little snippets of time that busy families have. Yesterday we hit the gym, the grocery store, the beach , and two school conferences. It was a busy day to say the least but when my daughter and I were briefly in the playroom I noticed she’d covered a book in gems and asked her if she wanted to make a craft with them. We didn’t have time to make this complicated and I think it turned out perfectly simple. I started making one after I cut two plates by accident but she ended up finishing mine too! This easy paper plate craft is great for fine motor development ( picking up and placing all those little pieces) too.

Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, pipe cleaner, glue, scissors, and some fun collage material like gems, buttons, sequins…. whatever you have on hand. butterfly craft

Start by cutting two triangles out of the plate. paper plate craft butterfly

Add glue. Much like her brother at this age adding glue is rather dramatic at times. paper plate butterflies craft for kids

Add on the gems and buttons. fine motor paper plate butterflyShe had to spill them all over the table so she could find the “most amazing ones.” Seems logical!jewel butterfly craft

Let dry enough so that the gems don’t fall off. Add the pipe cleaner. She finished mine while hers was drying so you can see tons of glue on mine. paper plate butterfly with jewels

 

Paper Plate Scarecrow Craft

Toddlers are exploring their world with all their senses and doing activities that incorporate different textures is a great way to explore while creating. When I asked my daughter what she wanted to make she very confidently said a scarecrow. We’ve been zooming past them at the store and I told her we’d make one , obviously she remembered. I didn’t just want to make a cut and paste scarecrow so I gathered materials with various textures and a plain old paper plate and this is what we made.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, crayons,  glue, scissors, yarn, buttons, some textured paper , felt and  yellow construction paper. I had popsicle sticks for hair but as you will see they didn’t work out.
  2. Let your child explore  all the materials. Ask them how they feel and introduce new words to them by labeling the items as they are exploring. 
  3. While your child colors the scarecrow with crayons cut out a nose from the textured paper, hair from the construction paper , yarn for the mouth,  a felt hat and strip for the hat.
  4. Hand them the glue start with the eyes.
  5. Pop them on.
  6. Add the nose and the mouth.
  7. If your child is up for the challenge hand them smaller pieces of yarn to make a stitched mouth. I decided to test the waters and see if my daughter could do this. She has been doing a lot of self directed fine motor tasks so I thought why not try. She did so well and was very proud of herself.
  8. Add the hair. We started with popscicle sticks but they were too heavy so we switched to paper hair.
  9. Add the felt hat.
  10. Let dry.

 

Easy Paper Plate Tree Frogs

We  love frogs and since finding many in our back yard we have been reading all about them, and the other day we made a fun and easy for all ages craft. My daughter loved using the Do-A-Dot paint markers for the first time and my son have fun working on fine motor skills rolling up the frogs sticky tongue.  After we snuggled in our book nook and read some favorite frog books .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate , some green paint, red and black paper, scissors and glue. 
  2. Start by cutting your paper plate in half and painting it green. My daughter loved this step and would have happily done it all day. Becareful if you choose to use these with younger children , the suggested age is 3+ because the top can come off ( check out our original review) watch constantly !  Also they aren’t as washable as some paints so you might want to grab a smock.  
  3. While the paint dries, cut out some red eyes.
  4. Black pupils
  5. Red tongue.
  6. Have your child roll the tongue up tightly.
  7. Add glue to the back side of the plate.
  8. Add the eyes.. and if you are a toddler take them off again…and add them…
  9. Add the pupils.
  10. Add glue to the front and add the tongue.
  11. Let dry.
I get asked all the time how I do crafts with two kids at the same time. The answer is sometimes I don’t. For me crafts are an amazing time to be with my kids and work together. Since my daughter is still so young she needs diligent supervision when using many tools and materials so sometimes we take turns. These frogs were made one on one with me while the other child played in the playroom. Sometimes we do it all at the same time , sometimes we don’t. They both have benefits .

Books About Frogs

Too Many Frogs

Too Many Frogs by Sandy Asher is a funny tale about a introverted Rabbit and a friendly Froggie who is a little clueless that he is imposing on Rabbit’s politeness when he invites himself over to listen to stories every night. Rabbit eventually breaks down and has had enough when Froggie brings his whole family reunion with him one evening to hear the stories as well. You will like how this story ends , the goofy but warm characters and expressive illustrations.

Once Upon a Lily Pad by Joan Sweeney is a cute book about two frogs that lived on the lily pads in Claude Monet’s gardens. I love the theme of life cycles in this story with the frogs hibernating and having more than one set of tadpoles… and eventually the painter not reappearing. It’s actually a great gentle book to start a open discussion about death without having to go into the thick of things right away. I love how it sparks interest in the painter and his beautiful work as well as can be used as a launchpad for an outdoor painting activity ( en plein air) . So many ways to use this book.

Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson gave me goosebumps and made me want to give the author a high five. The little frog leaps away from mama frog going further and further away but leaps back home to his mama each time with then end being spot on with the text changing from ” then leap home to me” to ” when you leap back home , here I’ll be”. My heart was aching seeing the little frog grow so fast! I love this book. It’s got very simple repetitive text ( great for emergent readers!), the illustrations by Matthew Cordell are goofy and sweet. They match the text perfectly so they give great clues to readers who may be struggling with a word. As a read aloud this book is awesome , not only because the repetitive text has a great rhythm but as the little frog gets more independent and goes further from home the things he is leaping over are pretty goofy and will get more than a few laughs from any audience you are reading it to!

Paper Plate Planet

Creating your very own planet can be a quick art project or a much more involved one with reading and writing too. This simple  project combines so many lessons including shapes, space, as well as writing and spelling. Oh and for those of you afraid of mess , especially glitter mess – stick on glitter foam was made for you. It’s all the bling with none of the mess.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, various shapes of peel and stick glitter foam ( I pre cut a whole bunch for easy projects), markers, a piece of plain old paper, pencil, and tape.
  2. Make some shapes out of the foam.
  3. Start by creating your planet with the foam and markers. My thought when I brainstormed this activity was that  my son would make a mosaic like planet with all the pieces. Instead as he was making it he was deciding what each piece of foam would be . Rivers, lakes, a pit of lava, and an dark and scary forest were all added among other things.
  4. While they create the look of the planet write out a short questionnaire for them to fill in about their planet. I asked 3 simple questions , keeping it short to entice him to write the answers himself. The questions included naming the planet, how many moons it has and how long it takes to get to the planet from Earth.
  5. It worked  he was excited to try ,he asked me to write the words after. Do not correct your child if they are at the beginning stages of writing especially if they are at all reluctant. Correcting them can be seen as a further proof that writing is too hard and their attempts may become fewer and further between, which is not what we want! If they ask for you to help jump in slowly .
  6. Tape the information on the inside . When he showed it off to his dad at dinner, he read the inside and said ” I didn’t write Cybertron, it was too long and I didn’t have enough room, but I did the numbers!” Oops, next time I will make the writing area even bigger, to make it more welcoming for big emergent writer handwriting.

Books About Space

If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith McNulty was not what I expected, but what is that they say about judging a book by it’s cover? Yeah. I enjoyed the book but it was really long, even I was sorta wondering ” How much more?” half way through. However when I finished the book I was glad I read it all and the huge amount of information inside. The book is truly packed with information about space travel and the environment on the moon, for 3-4 year olds I would read it in parts, perhaps throughout the same day but I don’t think many would sit with full attention for this whole book. Older kids should have no problem especially if they are interested in space. Older children will also appreciate the message that we need to keep Earth healthy so our planet remains vibrant and full of life and not cold, dusty and still like the moon.

Another Day in the Milky Way by David Milgrim made me giggle. The story is about a little boy who is stranded on a weird planet where things are very strange and he doesn’t know how to get home. It’s never scary because it’s simply too weird to ever get scary. People with too many arms, donkeys and chickens dressed as horses and finally the realization that it’s all a dream.  The humor was rather dry although kids will probably take it as goofy . My favorite part was the little alien dog that transforms into a regular one in the end of the book when the little boy wakes up.

A Is for Astronaut: Exploring Space from A to Z by Traci N. Todd is a typical themed alphabet book that is atypically funky. The vintage illustrations and historical photos from NASA makes this book stand out from other similar books. Each letter represents a number of space related items and the historical photos are so powerful in this because it bridges the gap from being a story to being information that children are eager to dive into further. There is something so powerful about a photograph to make that connection that this really happened, these guys really walked on the moon in ” the olden days” as my son calls any time before his birth in 2006.