This paper plate garden craft is cute and easy to make. It’s a great activity accompany a letter “G” theme in preschool.
WOohoo! We’ve finally completed our A-Z paper plate crafts collection.
Much like our letter “I” paper plate craft, the letter “G” has had us stumped for a while. There aren’t a lot of creative G things that you can make with a paper plate. There’s giraffe, gorilla and The Gruffalo, but those didn’t strike me as being particularly fun to make. As you know, I like a craft that allows the kids to really be creative with the process even if there IS an end “product” or result in mind.
One day recently, it occurred to me that a GARDEN craft would be perfect for the letter G. And it would certainly let the kids create in an open-ended way. I’m so excited to share our paper plate gardens with you because the results were terrific, and best of all, the hooligans had a lot of fun with the process.
To make our paper plate garden craft, we used:
- paper plate
- artificial flowers or flower stickers
- craft sticks
- bugs and butterfly sequins or stickers
- small gems and jewels
- green Easter grass
- craft feathers
- brown yarn
We began by raiding the craft cupboards in search of any odds and ends that we could make a flowery garden scene with.
Then we painted our paper plates to establish a backdrop for our gardens.
The older children chose to split their paper plates into two sections: blue for the sky and brown for the dirt.
One of the preschoolers chose to mix and blend the brown and blue paint until her plate was completely covered, and the other preschooler chose different colours altogether for her backdrop – red, purple, green and royal blue.
The hooligans love painting, and what was really interesting is this:
Our newest hooligan hasn’t completely embraced the crafting scene. She prefers to play constructively, and that is A-ok. I always encourage her to join us when we’re crafting, but quite often she chooses not to.
On this day though, as she watched the others painting, she decided she wanted to make a garden too. Well, guess who stayed at the craft table the longest. Yep. Even when it was time to break for snack, she didn’t want to stop crafting. “I’m not ready to be done yet.”. “Just a little bit more.” “I want to put on some more flowers on.”
I love watching a child’s love for crafting develop when they’re here in my daycare. Sometimes it takes a while, and I never force it, but over time, every hooligan I’ve ever known has come to love craft time. I always hope that when our time here together in my daycare over, that they leave with a life-long love of art and craft and creativity.
When our paint had dried, I placed all of our garden goodies on the table along with a pot of glue and a couple of paint brushes. The older children like to squeeze the glue straight out of the bottle, but the younger ones usually prefer using a glue pot and paintbrush. It’s less frustrating, and they have more control over where they’re applying the glue. While squeezing a glue-bottle is great for strengthening hand muscles, applying glue with a paintbrush also has its benefits. It helps to develop fine-motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination.
The hooligans went to town designing their gardens.
Some painted their craft sticks green to form flower stems, and they glued flowers all over their plates.
Mid-way through our crafting session, one little hooligan (3 years old) went to the cupboard, and took out the jar of of craft feathers. When I asked her what she was going to use them for, she said “for the things that come out of the flower stems.” I thought for a moment. Aha, the leaves of the flowers. Of course! I hadn’t even thought about putting leaves on the stems, and even if I had, I certainly wouldn’t have thought to use craft feathers. I love the way kids think! Often, their ideas are so much better than mine!
The hooligans glued butterflies, dragonflies and ladybugs to their plates, and they added gems to the centres of their flowers.
Then, as we were finishing, it crossed my mind to give the child some earth worms. I grabbed a ball of brown yarn, and cut some short pieces, and the hooligans added several “worms” to their gardens as well.
What a fun and lovely morning of crafting! And such beautiful paper plate gardens to tie in with a Letter “G” unit.
If you enjoyed this garden craft, you might also enjoy:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.