Skip to Content

Easy Paper Plate Turtle Craft For Kids

Updated May 3, 2024

Are you looking for a fun and easy craft for kids?

Your kids will love this paper plate turtle craft!

It’s a great summer craft and for rainy days when you are stuck inside.

I include easy crafts like this when we go to the beach in case we have a rainy day and the kids need something to keep them busy.

easy torn paper turtle craft


Easy Paper Plate Turtle Craft For Kids


  • Paper Plates: The sturdy base for your turtle’s body.
  • Colored Paper: Greens for the shell, and any other colors you’d like for added details. Construction paper works great for tearing and sticking!
  • Glue: A glue stick should do the trick for sticking those torn pieces down.
  • Googly Eyes: For that spark of life in your turtle’s gaze.
  • Scissors: To cut out shapes for the flippers and head, if you decide not to tear them.
  • Pencil: To sketch out shapes before cutting, if needed.



1. Grab a Paper Plate:

    • Start with a paper plate as the base. This will be the shell of the turtle, so the side you’d put food on is the underside of the turtle.

2. Shape the Flippers and Head:

    • Use green paper to cut out a head and flippers. Or, if you’re sticking to the tearing theme, tear out shapes that resemble flippers and a head. No perfect shapes are needed here; quirky and unique add character!
    • The easiest way to make the circles is to trace them out with a glass. I didn’t make a template for these because I used a glass to trace out the circles and then cut them out. 

3. Stick on the Turtle Parts:

    • Glue the head and flippers to the underside of the plate, positioning them where a real turtle’s limbs might go.

4. Tear the Colored Paper:

    • Let your kiddo tear up some green paper into small pieces for the turtle’s shell. They can rip up other colors too if they want a multicolored shell.
    • To make it easier for younger kids I cut the cardstock into squares and let them tear those into smaller pieces.

5. Glue Time:

  • Now, spread out your paper pieces and grab your glue. Start pasting those torn bits onto the bottom of the paper plate. Have them fill it in as much or as little as they would like – it’s their turtle’s shell, after all!

6. Final Touches:

  • Stick on those googly eyes to the head, and maybe draw a smile with a marker.


paper plate turtle craft


Additional Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  1. Zoo Animal Crafts: Next stop: the whole zoo! Paper plates are pretty versatile, so why not transform them into lions, elephants, or monkeys? Let your creativity run wild and craft a paper plate menagerie.
  2. Visit a Turtle Sanctuary or Aquarium: If you have a turtle sanctuary, aquarium, or zoo nearby, take a field trip to see some real turtles. It’s one thing to craft them, but watching them glide through water? Different experience!
  3. DIY Turtle Race: No actual turtles are needed! Make paper turtles and blow them across the finish line with straws. It’s a hoot and teaches a bit about how animals move differently.
  4. Storytime with Turtle Books: Snuggle up with some books featuring our shell-backed friends. “The Foolish Tortoise” is a classic, or maybe “Franklin in the Dark” for those who love the tale of a little turtle overcoming his fears.
  5. Turtle Habitat Project: Build a little habitat for your paper turtle. Grab a box, some greens, blue paper for water, and maybe even craft some fish friends. It’s a crafty way to chat about the environment and why turtles live where they do.


Books About Turtles for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  1. One Tiny Turtle” by Nicola Davies – Follow the fascinating life of a loggerhead turtle as it travels the oceans and returns to the beach where it was born. This book combines a sweet narrative with educational content about turtle conservation.
  2. Can You Tickle a Turtle?” – This interactive board book invites preschoolers to explore textures and engage their senses as they learn about turtles and their environment.
  3. Flip Flap Wiggle – Join a baby sea turtle on its first journey to the ocean, with fun interactive elements that simulate the turtle’s movements.
  4. Sea Turtles” by Gail Gibbons – A captivating look into the world of sea turtles, covering different species and their habitats with vibrant illustrations and simple explanations suitable for young children.
  5. Look Out for Turtles!” by Melvin Berger – This early science reader delves into why turtles have thrived for so long, exploring their biology and the role of their shells in their survival.
  6. Franklin’s Neighborhood” by Paulette Bourgeois – Part of the beloved Franklin the Turtle series, this book takes young readers on an adventure with Franklin as he learns about his community.
  7. Little Turtle and the Changing Sea: A Story of Survival in Our Polluted Oceans” by Becky Davies – Through beautiful illustrations, this story helps children understand the impact of plastic pollution on oceans and marine life.
  8. Turtle Splash! Countdown at the Pond – This charming counting book features turtles and other pond inhabitants, perfect for teaching preschoolers counting and more about nature.


torn paper turtle craft




  • Sue Winters RN

    Sue Winters, RN - Co-Founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions Sue combines 20 years of nursing with a rich background in early childhood education. Co-founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions, her articles provide creative toddler activities and practical tips on pregnancy nutrition and baby shower planning, embodying her commitment to supporting families through early parenthood.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.