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17 Fun Paper Plate Crafts for Summer

When the temperature is just too hot to go outdoors this summer, a fun craft can be the perfect boredom buster. We’ve found 17 super cute paper plate crafts for summer that your kids are going to love! Some are easy enough for toddlers while older kids can enjoy the more complicated ones that involve movement. There’s something here for everyone!

paper plate crafts for summer

Cute Paper Plate Crafts for Summer

Summer is a time for pool parties, barbecues, and fun in the sun. But it also means that you’re going to be spending more time indoors with the kids on rainy days when you just can’t get outside. To keep them entertained without breaking your budget or putting your sanity on hold, we’ve got 17+ summer paper plate crafts!

Paper Plate Octopus

I can’t get over how amazing this paper plate octopus looks! The bubble wrap tentacles are so cool and really make them look like the real tentacles on an octopus. This would be a terrific craft for an ocean unit.

octopus paper plate craft

Garden Paper Plate Craft

This flower garden paper plate craft with its buzzing little bee is perfect for summer! You could even turn all the flowers into sunflowers to give it more of a late summer vibe.

spring paper plate garden craft

Uncle Sam

Celebrate the 4th of July or Veteran’s Day with this fun and cute Uncle Sam paper plate craft. It’s very patriotic, plus it encourages conversations with kids about one of our country’s important national symbols. 

uncle sam patriotic paper plate craft

Paper Plate Parrot

Work on a rainforest theme or some fun bird crafts this summer, adding our paper plate parrot to the list of crafts to make. It’s super colorful and fun and will make a great decoration for the playroom.

paper plate parrot idea

Rainbow Fish

Read The Rainbow Fish while making this colorful and sparkly Paper Plate Fish Craft. Don’t you love his sparkly, colorful scales? 

paper plate rainbow fish

Paper Plate Boat

Not only is this Paper Plate Boat Craft gorgeous (it would make a nice addition to a nautical room), but it offers fine motor practice as well.

beautiful paper plate boat craft

Swimming Jellyfish Craft

We fell in love with this Swimming Jellyfish Craft the second we saw it on Facebook. It’s adorable, and I know your tot or preschooler will have a blast making the jellyfish swim back and forth.

paper plate jellyfish craft with movable jellyfish

Sun Craft

The sun may be super hot, but he looks cool as can be in this Paper Plate Sun Craft. How fun!

paper plate sun craft

Goldfish Bowl

For another moving craft, try this Paper Plate Goldfish Bowl. The large goldfish is on a craft stick, so you can easily move him around. Don’t you think the bubble wrap sand is a great touch?

goldfish bowl summer paper plate craft

Related: 15 Cool Bubble Wrap Art Ideas for Kids

Rocking Crabs

With pincers that open and close, these Rocking Paper Plate Crabs will be loads of fun for little ones.

rocking crabs made out of paper plates

Paper Plate Beach Ball

Tear different colors of construction paper or tissue paper and arrange them on a paper plate to create this fun Paper Plate Beach Ball craft. So colorful!

beach ball paper plate craft for summer

Seashell Paper Plate Craft

Reminisce about your beach vacation while making these lovely Paper Plate Seashells.

seashells made from paper plates

Paper Plate Ice Cream

How fun is this Paper Plate Ice Cream Craft? Your kids can add sprinkles (or glitter or confetti) to make the cones look like their favorite flavors.

ice cream summer paper plate crafts

Pufferfish Craft

Paper Plate Pufferfish are so cute! Use forks and paint to create the spiny look of the fish. Clever!

pufferfish paper plate craft

Sunflower Paper Plate Craft

Even the littlest ones will be able to make this Paper Plate Sunflower. Display them on the mantle or in the window to add some cheer to any room.

sunflower made from a paper plate

American Flag Paper Plate Craft

Show your patriotism with a red, white and blue Paper Plate American Flag. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids some flag history!

american flag paper plate craft idea

Popsicle Paper Plate Craft

No summer is complete without twin pops! Now you can craft some Paper Plate Popsicles with the kids while you enjoy your frozen treats.

popsicle craft made with a paper plate

Scuba Diver Mask Craft

Kids will have so much fun pretending to be a scuba driver with this Paper Plate Scuba Diver Mask. They’ll have a blast on their imaginary under-the-sea adventures.

scuba mask paper plate craft for kids

Frog Paper Plate Craft

Frogs abound in the summertime, so I know my son will love this Paper Plate Frog to remind him of his hoppy friends we’ve found in the garden.

frog paper plate craft idea

Paper Plate Watermelon

This Watermelon Paper Plate Craft is so easy! We completed ours in about 20 minutes (including drying time).

paper plate watermelon

Rocking Submarine Craft

A Rocking Paper Plate Submarine will provide hours of fun for your little one. Isn’t it the perfect craft for hours of pretend play?

submarine paper plate craft that rocks

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Post originally published June 12, 2017. Updated June 13, 2021.

Paper Plate Crafts for Summer