Paper plate birds – a simple craft for little ones

Paper plate birds

I made these paper plate birds with Lily weeks ago and she is still playing with them and asking to take them out on our walks! Barbecue season has arrived so here is a craft perfect for those barely used paper plates that get left lying around.


  • Paper plate (one plate makes one bird)
  • Paint
  • Crayons/ felt tips/ pencils/ paint sticks
  • Scrap paper
  • Split pins (one pin needed for one bird)
  • Glue (we used pritt stick)

Instructions for the Paper plate birds:

  1. Cut your paper plate in half, and cut one half in half again. The semi-circle will become your bird body and your quarter-circle will become the bird’s wing.
  2. Paint your bird body and wing. I used this as an opportunity for Lily to mix her own colours, teaching her that adding black darkens paint, red enriches colour and so on. She is just two and a half so I’m not sure how much of this got through! Nonetheless she enjoyed ‘making her own colours’ and mostly finger-painting the plate. We painted one grey for a pigeon, two brown for robins and cockerels and one black for a magpie.
  3. Colour in your bird’s features on scrap paper (or – I have just thought, on your other quarter circle!). The details you do are dependant on what bird you are making (or not—your little one may want to invent their own birds)! I left Lily to colour her bird’s features herself giving her scrap paper and various colours, one at time. We cut out shapes from her doodles to make eyes, feather, beaks, a ‘red breast’ etc. Remember that the wings need features too so make enough features for these!
  4. Stick on your details – Lily and I did a mixture of her applying glue to the bird’s features and me sticking them in place, and then me applying the glue and pointing to where she needed to stick them down.
  5. Add your wings by poking your split pin through the wing, and then through the bird’s body. This allows your bird to ‘fly’ and adds the play element for your little one.


Paper plate birds

Paper plate birds

Lily loved this craft, not only for the making of them, which occupied us for a good half an hour one afternoon, but for the play element which has kept her happily flying these through the house and out with their pigeon and robin friends on our walks many weeks later!

What birds will you make with your little ones? I’d love to see your variations! Please share your photos with us so that we can see!

Sydney x

P.S For another ‘scraps for play’ idea, have a look at how Esther’s daughter Ava has used a variety of boxes to make this mouse house! I’m actually obsessed!

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