Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers

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Get ready to embark on a wild and whimsical crafting adventure that's guaranteed to make you grin from ear to ear. Today, we're diving headfirst into the wonderful world of creativity with a project that's as fun as it is adorable—the Paper Plate Turtle!

With just a pinch of creativity and a dash of crafty magic, you'll transform a plain old paper plate into a quirky turtle companion that will bring joy to your day. This craft is all about embracing your inner artist and letting your imagination run wild. So put on your crafting hat, grab those scissors, and let's create a turtle that's sure to make a splash!

Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers

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Educational Benefits of Making this Turtle Paper Plate Craft with Preschoolers

Not only is this craft loads of fun, but it also offers a plethora of educational benefits for your little ones. Let's dive into the exciting ways this craft can support their growth and learning:

Fine Motor Skill Development: As preschoolers paint the paper plate, cut out shapes, and attach the turtle's features, their fine motor skills get a fantastic workout! These activities help them refine their hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and control over their hand movements. It's like a dance party for their little fingers!

Creativity and Imagination: Watch as your young artists unleash their creativity with this craft. From choosing vibrant colors for their turtle's shell to adding fun details and decorations, they have the freedom to make their turtle truly unique. This fosters their imaginative thinking and encourages self-expression, allowing their personalities to shine through their artistic creation.

Spatial Awareness and Geometry: As children cut out shapes for the turtle's head, feet, and the octagon shells, they engage in spatial awareness and geometry concepts. They learn to identify and manipulate shapes, observe their attributes, and explore how these shapes fit together to form the turtle's features. This hands-on experience lays the foundation for future math skills.

Attention to Detail and Sequencing: Following the step-by-step instructions for this craft helps preschoolers practice their attention to detail and sequencing skills. They learn to follow a set of directions in the correct order, fostering their ability to listen, process information, and carry out tasks systematically. These skills are essential for academic success.

Storytelling and Language Development: Once the turtle craft is complete, encourage children to engage in imaginative play and storytelling. Prompt them to share stories about their turtle's adventures, habitat, and unique characteristics. This enhances their language development, vocabulary, and narrative skills, fostering creativity and confidence in expressing their ideas.

By combining the turtle paper plate craft with additional learning opportunities, such as reading ocean books or exploring turtle facts, you can further deepen kids' understanding and appreciation for these marvelous creatures.

Tips for Making this Turtle Paper Plate Craft with Preschoolers

Here are some turtle-rific tips to make your crafting adventure even more enjoyable:

Scissor Senseis: Ensure that adult supervision is provided when using scissors to keep those little fingers safe during the cutting process. Glue Guru: Let the grown-ups take charge of using glue to ensure a secure and accident-free crafting experience. Crafting Comfort: Set up a cozy crafting area where little ones can create without any distractions or hazards. A dedicated space sets the stage for a worry-free and focused craft time.

Kid-Friendly Delights: Opt for materials that are easy for small hands to handle, ensuring a frustration-free crafting experience for our little artists.

Tailored Turtle Touches: Invite children to personalize their turtles with unique details and decorations. Sparkles, ribbons, or even a miniature turtle hat—the sky's the limit for their turtle's style!

How to Make a Turtle Paper Plate Craft with Preschoolers

Ready to get crafting? Find the instructions below!

Yield: 1 Paper Plate Turtle

Turtle Paper Plate Craft

Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty preschool
Estimated Cost $3


  • Construction papers (light and dark green)
  • Paper plate
  • Paint (Yellow)
  • Double-sided tape or glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Marker
  • Template


  • scissors
  • paintbrush


  1. Gather your supplies. Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers
  2. Print out the provided template and carefully cut out the shapes. Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers
  3. Use these shapes as a guide for tracing and cutting out the turtle's head and feet from the light green construction paper. Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers
  4. Using the paintbrush, cover the entire surface of the paper plate with yellow paint. Make sure to apply a smooth and even coat. Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Take the dark green construction paper and cut out small octagon shapes. These will be used to decorate the turtle's shell. Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers
  6. Attach the head and feet cut-outs to the bottom part of the paper plate using glue or double-sided tape. Position them to create the turtle's body. Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers
  7. Decorate the paper plate by sticking the small octagon shapes all over it. Arrange them in a pattern or randomly, covering the yellow background. Use glue or double-sided tape to secure them in place. Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers
  8. Attach googly eyes to the turtle's head using glue. Position them to give the turtle a fun and expressive look. Turtle Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers
  9. Use a marker to draw a smiling mouth on the turtle's face. Get creative and make the smile as big and cheerful as you'd like!
  10. And there you have your turtle! Once all the decorations are in place, your turtle paper plate craft is complete. Admire your adorable creation and display it proudly. paper plate turtle


  • Prepare the materials and cut out the construction paper shapes ahead of time to make it easier for preschoolers to get started with the craft.
  • Use child-friendly and washable paints or markers to add color and designs to the construction paper pieces, allowing preschoolers to personalize their turtles.
  • Cover the work area with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth to make cleaning up any messes, especially when working with glue, paint, or other materials.
  • Encourage preschoolers to let their creativity shine by allowing them to choose their own color combinations, attach the yarn tentacles, and position the googly eyes. Let their imaginations take the lead!
  • Provide assistance and supervision when using scissors or glue, ensuring the safety of the little crafters. It's important to guide them through these steps to avoid accidents.
  • Emphasize the fun and enjoyment of the crafting process rather than focusing solely on the final result. Let preschoolers explore, experiment, and express themselves freely.
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    Creative Variations for Your Turtle Paper Plate Craft

    Get ready to take your turtle paper plate craft to the next level with these creative variations that will add an extra dose of excitement and charm:

    Shape Seekers: Cut out various shapes from different colored construction papers and have children match and glue them onto the turtle's shell. This activity helps reinforce shape recognition and spatial awareness.

    Texture Play: Explore different textures by incorporating materials like tissue paper, fabric scraps, or even textured craft paper. Cut them into small pieces or shapes and attach them to the turtle's body using glue. This will give your turtle a tactile element, making it fun to touch and feel.

    Pattern Power: Experiment with patterns to make your turtle craft stand out. Use patterned paper or create your own patterns by drawing lines, dots, or shapes on the construction paper before cutting out the turtle parts. This will add visual interest and make your turtle look even more playful.

    Nature-inspired Touch: Take your craft outside by incorporating natural elements. Use small dried leaves or flower petals to decorate the turtle's body. This will add a touch of nature and create a unique and organic look.

    Color Sorting Sensation: Cut out small colored circles or squares from construction paper and have children sort them by color. They can then glue the matching colors onto different sections of the turtle's shell, promoting color recognition and sorting abilities.

    Habitat Hunt: Extend the learning beyond the craft by discussing different turtle habitats. Provide pictures or draw various habitats (such as the ocean, pond, or forest) and have children choose the most suitable background for their turtle craft. This variation introduces children to different habitats and encourages imaginative play.

    If you're hungry for more ocean creativity, make sure to swing over and check out all of our Ocean Crafts and Printables for Preschoolers that we have on site!

    Snag the Printable Instructions!

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