Mini Makers: Paper Plate Animals


I made some paper plate animals with Amelie at the weekend. Normally, when I have a craft in mind for her, I set her up with all the stuff she needs, show her what to do, then use it as an excuse to go and do something else. This time I thought I’d not do that. I’m a bit of a distracted mum sometimes – I try not to be – but my mind wanders and before I know it I’ve agreed to a trip to the zoo at bedtime dressed as Alex the Lion.

So we made animals, together. And her little squeally happy face when I magicked up a penguin on request  or found a mountain of sequins for her butterfly was worth not doing the ironing for (that’s a massive lie. I haven’t done the ironing for 4 years). I’m not hot on skills to be honest, but crafting things for kids is my one thing. So I’m going to start enjoying it. Here are our creations. Some are a bit freakshow tbh.


I find it hard to let my kids have control over what they make. I try to steer them the way I think it should go, and I’m impatient too. So all too often I find I’m left at the end making the damn thing and they’re nowhere to be seen. The way around this, I’ve found, is to get involved and make your own version of the craft. That way you don’t take over and the kids can be lead by what you’re making.

These animals are really simple to make. For the Parrot, cut a curved wing and beak from the rim of the plate and a body and tail from the main section. Glue together and add parroty (parroty is a word) colours.


For the hedgehog, fold a plate in half and glue together in the centre (leaving the rim unglued).  Cut away the edge to create a nose shape then paint. Add snips into the rim and ruffle up to look like spikes.


For the penguin, paint the back of the plate black and the front black around the rim. Cut a circle for a head from another plate, add eyes and a folded diamond of orange card for the beak and paint black round the face. Fold the two sides of the plate in to create wings and glue the head on top.


For the lion, draw on aface then paint the centre of the plate yellow. Paint the rim orange and add snips to resemble a mane, then ruffle up.


And now to the freak show that is Amelie’s paper plate animal creations! The first one isn’t so bad, it’s a party butterfly (obviously). Complete with images of party toast. I don’t know what party toast it, but I like the sound of it.


This is a goldfish pyranha type thing, with feathers, lipstick and a feather boa tail accessory. Eerie.


Here is a cat with the world’s smallest ears. He’s eating a biscuit (there’s another biscuit on his bum. He’s saving that one for later).


I love their imaginations. The things they create. It’s a shame we have to grow up and get all sensible!

Tia x