Looking for a fun project to celebrate Earth Day? This easy paper plate Earth craft with crumpled tissue paper is perfect for kids of all ages, including toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children… and it can be made using dollar store supplies!
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Can you believe it’s been over three years since I started this craft blog and somehow, I’ve always run out of time to do Earth Day crafts?
Well, this is the year that the streak officially ends. I have lots of fun Earth Day craft ideas and activities to share with you, and I’ve already photographed several of them, so they’re definitely going up on the blog in the next few weeks.
The first one I’ve decided to share with you is this adorable paper plate Earth day craft made with crumpled tissue paper.
It requires nothing but simple supplies that you can find at your local dollar store, and it’s easy enough for toddlers and preschoolers. But while it’s quite easy to make, it’s also appropriate for kindergarten and school-aged kids! (In fact, my eldest is in first grade and she loved helping me with it.)
This DIY tissue paper Earth craft is such a fun project to celebrate Earth Day, and it can be done at home or at school. It’s also great for fine motor skills and concentration.
We’ll definitely be “recycling” this project during future years!
How to Make a Paper Plate Earth
Here’s what you’ll need to turn a paper plate into a colourful replica of planet Earth:
- Paper plate (bonus points for using a plate made from recycled materials—this is an Earth Day craft, after all!)
- Tissue paper (also known as crepe paper) in green and blue
- Liquid school glue
Note: We used a regular-sized paper plate to do this craft and it was pretty time-consuming. If you’re looking to speed things up, feel free to use a smaller paper plate, have several kids work on this project together or spread it out over several days!
1. Cut Tissue Paper
Start by using scissors to cut the tissue paper into medium-sized squares.
Ours measured about 2” x 2”, but there’s no need to be exact with it. And there’s definitely no need worry if the squares don’t look perfect, since you’re going to be crumpling them up anyway.
Tip: Place several sheets of tissue paper on top of each other and cut them simultaneously to speed things up. You’ll need a lot of tissue paper squares, so this will make the process a lot less tedious.
2. Crumple Tissue Paper
Once you’re done cutting the tissue paper into squares, start crumpling them up. No need to do anything fancy with them—we simply crumpled each one up into a little ball using our hands.
This is a great job to give to younger kids who want to participate, and a great way to keep them busy for a while! To make things easier, you can place all the squares in a medium-sized bowl and let your little ones grab whichever ones they like.
Don’t worry about how many you make—you’ll need quite a lot for this craft (unless you’re using a small paper plate) and you can always make more if you run out mid-craft!
3. Draw Earth Outline (Optional)
While your kids are busy crumpling up tissue paper, use a pencil to draw the outline of the major continents on the paper plate in order to help the little ones complete their planet Earth collage.
I simply looked up “planet earth” on Google and used one of the images as inspiration for my freehand drawing. It doesn’t have to be super precise. (Note: Feel free to choose an image that shows the Earth from a different vantage point if you don’t live in North America.)
This step is optional, but if you want your craft to look more “realistic”, it does make things easier when comes the time to glue the balls of crumpled tissue paper to the paper plate.
Alternatively, if you are doing this craft with a toddler or younger preschooler, feel free to forget about realism and let them glue the tissue paper wherever they like!
4. Glue Tissue Paper
Once your kids are done crumpling up the squares of tissue paper, it’s time to glue them onto the paper plate. (Tip: If you drew an outline on the paper plate during the previous step, fill in the continents first to make the process easier.)
Start by squeezing out individual dots of school glue for each ball of tissue paper. Then, once you get the hang of it, feel free to draw lines that are long enough to glue several balls of tissue paper onto the plate.
If you have younger kids who can’t squeeze glue out of the bottle, consider pouring some into a small container for them instead. They can then dip the balls of tissue paper into the glue or use a paintbrush to apply it to the paper plate.
Note: As mentioned above, if you’re using a regular-sized paper plate, this process can be pretty time-consuming. But you can definitely make a smaller version of this craft, have several kids work on it together, or simply spread it out over several days to fill in the gaps when you need to get some cleaning or cooking done!
5. Let Dry
Once the paper plate is completely covered, simply let the glue dry (this won’t take long) and your artwork will be ready to display. I absolutely love how this one turned out—so colourful and textured!
Plus, the process of crumpling up and glueing tissue paper is not only fun—it’s also great for fine motor skills. So this Earth Day arts and crafts project is a great way to keep your toddler or preschooler entertained while they work on important skills!
(And if your child loves crumpled tissue paper art, you can also try this Crumpled Tissue Paper Christmas Craft or this Crumpled Tissue Paper Shamrock Craft. It’s so easy to adapt this project to every holiday!)
Related Paper Plate Crafts
Looking for more fun craft projects to make using paper plates? Check out these articles:
- 20 Cutest Saint Patrick’s Day Paper Plate Crafts
- Four-Leaf Clover Suncatcher (with Free Printable!)
- Easy Paper Plate Rainbow
- DIY Halloween Paper Plate Spider Craft
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