| |

Turtle Paper Plate Craft {with “I had a little turtle” lyrics}

Paper plate turtle craft

My toddler recently became obsessed with the “I had a little turtle” nursery rhyme and hand game. It’s one of the first songs she’s memorized and can sing almost the entire song by herself. So, of course, we needed a turtle craft to go along with it!

This paper plate turtle craft is easy to make with tissue paper, construction paper, glue, and maybe some googly eyes. Toddlers and preschoolers will love making their own turtle and learning a fun song to go along with it.

paper plate turtle craft

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of my links I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Learning Opportunities


This is a great craft for talking about the color green and how colors come in different shades or variations.

When you’re on your next walk outdoors you can also talk about the different shades of green in natures.

All about Turtles

This craft is an obvious lead in to talking about turtles.

What do turtles eat?
Leafy vegetables and bugs.

What is their shell for?
A turtles shell is like a shield they carry with them to protect themselves from harm.

Can turtles breathe underwater?
No, they have to come to the surface to breathe. But some can “hold their breath” for months at a time.

You can even find an educational show about turtles to watch or visit your local pet store and see some turtles in action. (My mom refers to Petco as the free zoo since my toddler loves to go in and look at all the animals)

If you’re using this as part of an animal or ocean learning theme be sure to check out our fish mobile craft too!

Fine motor skills

For older toddlers, this can be a fun craft for working on those fine motor cutting skills. Using kid-safe scissors they can cut out the legs, head, and tail once you trace the outline. They can also cut the strips of tissue paper into squares.

Paper Plate Turtle Supplies

You can pick up all these items at your local dollar store or buy them online if you don’t already have these items in your home.

How to make your Paper Plate Turtle Craft

1 – Cut a head, tail, and 4 legs out of your green construction paper. Draw little lines on the feet for the toes.

If you don’t plan to use googly eyes you can also draw eyes on the turtle’s head.

Turtle paper plate

2 – Cut 1-1.5 inch squares out of various shades of green tissue paper.

3 – Glue the legs and head onto the back side of the paper plate.

Flip it back over and add googly eyes if you have them.

Paper plate turtle

4 – Put glue all over the domed portion of the paper plate then have your child cover it with the tissue paper squares.

That’s it, let your turtle dry and it’s done.

tissue paper turtle craft

Depending on your child’s age they may be able to help with more of the craft. Younger toddlers may only help add the tissue paper.

Older toddlers and preschoolers can help attach the legs and eyes, maybe even help with cutting the tissue paper into squares.

If they don’t already know the “I had a little turtle” song you can help them learn it and dance around with their new turtle friend.

Looking to add some new books to your home library? Check out our book page for fun recommendations!

“I had a little turtle” lyrics

I had a little turtle
His name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim, swim, swim

He drank up all the water
He ate a bar of soap, yuck
And now my little turtle
Has bubbles in his throat, throat, throat

My toddler insists that you must end the song by clapping and singing bubbles, bubbles, bubbles.

There you have it, a fun but simple way to help your toddler or preschooler make a paper plate turtle craft.

Be sure to pin this craft for later!

turtle craft
Yield: 1 turtle

Paper Plate Turtle

turtle toddler craft

Fun paper plate turtle craft for toddlers and preschoolers.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5


  • Paper Plate
  • Green Tissue Paper, Various shades
  • 1 sheet green construction paper
  • Googly eyes


  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Black marker


  1. Cut 1 head, 1 tail, & 4 feet out of the green construction paper.
  2. Use a black marker to add toes to the feet if desired
  3. Attach the body parts to the paper plate.
  4. Glue two googly eyes onto the head, or draw eyes on with the black marker.
  5. Cut 1 inch squares out of the tissue paper.
  6. Spread glue all over the dome of the paper plate. Then cover with squares of tissue paper.
  7. Allow to dry.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thanks for sharing!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *