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Paper Plate Play

Written By: Ashley Grossenbacher, MOT, OTR/L

All you need to get started are some scissors, crayons, or markers, white or construction paper, and a paper plate! You can add to the fun with popsicle sticks, tape or glue, pipe cleaners, extra beads or buttons, or any other craft or scrap material you have around the house.  These are activities that can easily be adapted to any child’s skill level and can be modified to take up as much or as little time as you would like.

Here are some of our favorite paper plate creations:

Fruity Fun:

Cut a paper plate in half and use cut or torn pieces of either colored or construction paper to make a slice of your favorite fruit.  We chose a watermelon, but you could do any type of fruit: an orange, apple, lemon, lime, strawberry, etc.

-This is a great way to work on fine motor strength and coordination and bilateral hand use with coloring, cutting, and using glue or tape.  You can expand the delicious fun and learning by adding in a sensory component using real fruit to touch and taste during the activity.  Yum!

Mask Magic:

Cut a paper plate in half and cut out two holes for eyes.  Use crayons or markers to color the plate and use extra paper to add on silly ears, hats, a nose and a mouth.  Attach a popsicle stick to the bottom if you have one.  Use extra craft materials such as yarn, pipe cleaners, buttons or stickers to add hair or other fun pieces to your creation.

-This is another great activity for both fine motor and bilateral coordination.  It also provides the opportunity to work on executive function and creativity by planning what to create and how to do it.  Following steps and maintaining attention to complete a task are also excellent extras that might come from this activity.

-You can increase the challenge and fun by making several masks and then creating and acting out a little play.  Choose different themes…maybe farm animals or zoo animals, favorite cartoon characters, superheroes…so many fun masks to make!

These are just a few ideas for paper plate play…. check out this link for lots of other ways to turn a plain paper plate into fabulous fun!


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