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Toddler Talk: Paper Plate Turtle

I love using everyday items in new ways to create simple crafts for kids. This paper plate turtle craft certainly fits the bill. A classroom at my daughter's school has a turtle and my youngest loves to observe it and pet it. That love of turtles inspired us to make one at home. We talked about how turtle shells were not just one color, but had various colors and patterns. Using two colors of tissue paper will help to create the patterned effect of a turtles shell.

You will need:

Paper plate

Green and yellow tissue paper squares

Cup of water

Small paintbrush

Green construction paper


Googly eyes


If you don't have pre-cut tissue paper squares, then you can just cut out small squares from yellow and green tissue paper. Before you use the tissue paper make sure it will bleed when brushed with water. With some kinds of tissue paper, the color will not bleed through when wet, and you obviously want it to do that to create the turtle's colorful shell.

Provide your child with yellow and green tissue paper squares, a paper plate and a cup of water and brush. Does your child know what a pattern is? If not, this is a great way to introduce the concept as she will be making a yellow and green pattern.

To create the turtle shell, your child will be painting down squares of tissue paper onto the back of the paper plate. The water on the brush will adhere the tissue paper to the plate and cause the color to bleed on to the plate.

Cover the entire plate with colorful tissue paper. Allow the plate to dry. Ours took about 20 minutes. Your child can then peel off the tissue paper to reveal a pretty pattern.

At this point you will cut out some legs, a head and a tail from the green construction paper. My daughter and I did some research and discovered that a turtle's legs have 5 claws. Cut out four legs, one long triangle shaped tail, and a head that looks like a ping pong paddle.

Have your child glue the legs, tail and head on the turtle and then add the googly eyes to the head. If you don't have googly eyes, you can draw eyes on the turtle with a marker. It will still be cute!

I love how the colorful pattern on the turtle shell turned out. My daughter enjoys bringing her turtle outside and using him in her pretend play.

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