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  • Motherhood Melbourne

5 creative paper plate activities for your toddler

The Fox Box

By Helen Collins, owner of The Fox Box.


Serving up some creative time to kids this winter!


If you have a few paper plates lying in the back of a kitchen draw, did you know that you have hours of indoor entertainment for your toddlers, hidden in the pantry cupboard?


Yep, its winter and looking for ideas to keep those toddlers entertained is always high on my priority list. Happy kids = happy mum, that’s how it works isn’t it?! So often we want to give our little ones some crafty creative time, but can’t get all the bits and pieces organised, feel uninspired for ideas, or in all honesty, don’t have the patience to deal with a major crafting mess! Well, if you have some paper plates in your cupboard and a few essential art supplies you already have endless hours of fun for them.


Here are a few of my paper plate ‘go to’ activities that entertain, without creating a mammoth mess to clear afterwards (no paint marks being washed off walls):


Sticking on Spots

Cover a paper plate in stickers, or if you don't have stickers just cut or tear up scraps of coloured paper to glue on. You can use the colourful plate to cut a fun snake, fish or favourite animal shape from, or simply use as their very own designer lunch plate that day. My kids love it!

Sticking on spots


Smiley Suns

Let them have some fun cutting triangle shapes off the edge of the plate, add some colour, a smiley face if you like, and you have your own bright sunshiny day!


Winter Weather Clouds

Cut a plate in half, cut strips of blue paper and glue them on the flat side. add a few tear shaped ‘raindrops’ and you have a wintery rainstorm. You could even use the other half of the paper plate to create an umbrella, or add some cotton balls from the bathroom cupboard to make the cloud fluffy and soft.

Winter Weather Clouds


Character craziness

For the committed crafter who's little ones want to just play with their favourite movie or TV characters, adding a little coloured pencil, paper and some eyes can create hours of role play and adventure time. For those prepared to manage a little more mess, painting plates different colours will give you a brighter collection of crafting plates. My son is into ‘Secret Life of Pets’ so this has been our ‘quiet time while little sister is sleeping’ activity each day this week…two or three each day and he’s loving it!

Character craziness


Stringy Spider webs

Cut small slits around the outside of the paper plate and loop string, or wool, across and over and around. A fun fine motor activity for the little ones who haven’t mastered the skill of threading through a tiny hole (and means no hole punch required!). For older kids, punching holes and creating their own 'dream catcher' is lots of fun too.

Stringy Spider Webs


Keeping it clean tips


Big Box: If you have a large cardboard box, it is a great crafting space you can give your kids. they sit inside with all their pencils, paper and glue a go crazy…sometimes that alone becomes hours of fun itself. It also limits the mess to inside their space.


Washable crayons: The best invention ever! They easily come of surfaces with just a wet cloth. Officeworks sell these, and I’ve found them worth every penny!


Pre-paint: If you want to have different colour plates or have large sections painted but don’t have time to deal with the ‘toddler paint mess’, pre-paint them quickly yourself, or just buy some colourful ones when your at the supermarket.


Limited supplies: Sometime just sticking to paper, and glue sticks, means no pen or pencil marks in unexpected places! No paint to clean up either. Stickers are a fun thing to have a supply of as stickers and paper can be a fun mess free craft time anywhere.


A little safety: I love google-eyes!! They turn anything into a fun creature, but google-eyes are defiantly a safety issue when it come to toddlers (as you may well have discovered). They are the perfect size to get stuck up noses, in ears and they may even try to eat them. A safer alternative is just lots of white dot stickers that you can quickly and easily draw a black dot in. Then your toddler can bring everything to life, couches, chairs and shoes included, as goodly-eyes characters!


HOOD MAMA SPECIAL – Bring a friend along for FREE to the next Creative Corner for Kids' sessions (hosted by The Fox Box).


Next session – 3G Art Space in Parkdale, on Friday 18th August, $15 per family. Contact The Fox Box for booking details.



Art classes & subscription packs aim to inspire children to see beauty in themselves and the world around them, encourage them to use their imagination through creative art & craft activities and equip them with skills to produce high quality artworks.


Biz owner: Helen Collins


Favourite café: For the best hot chocolate on the go – Station Stop, Parkdale. For a delightfully relaxing brunch – Hendricks Café, Mordialloc.


Coffee order: Hot chocolate…every time!


[email protected]



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