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Paper Plate Carnival Crafts for Kids

Bring the carnival home with some craft projects.
carnival image by pearlguy from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Many kids and adults enjoy going to carnivals. With the flickering, colorful lights of the Ferris wheel, the distinct smell of buttery popcorn and the feel of cotton candy melting in your mouth, it's little wonder. Using some paper plates and a few craft supplies, both adults and kids may enjoy making some carnival-themed craft projects.

Cotton Candy

Many people can't go to a carnival without buying some sweet, sticky cotton candy. With this cotton candy craft, they can make their own without all the sugary side effects. You'll need a paper plate, colored cotton balls and glue for each child. Each child will need five or six cotton balls that are the same color. Have the kids stretch the cotton balls so that they'll cover the paper plate completely, then they can glue the cotton in place. To make this craft look more realistic, provide the kids with a cellophane bag (available at craft stores) to hold their "cotton candy," then have them tie their bags shut.


Kids often look forward to carnivals in hopes of seeing clowns or having their faces painted like a clown. Using a paper plate and some simple construction paper shapes, they can make their own clown friend. Have the kids cut out various shapes such as triangles, circles and ovals, to be the clown's nose, eyes and cheeks. They can cut a half-circle for the clown's large, grinning mouth. For hair, let them get creative and silly. Two large circles will give their clown a look of puffy hair, while two triangles will look like hair pointing outward. If they want, they can also make a top hat for their clown by gluing a square on top of a rectangle (the rectangle would be the part that sits directly on the clown's head while the square would be the part that stands above it).

Just have them leave the eyes off the face if they’d like to turn this clown face into a mask for themselves. They'll need to fold the plate slightly where eyes would be, then cut two half circles which will be full circles when they unfold the plate. They can glue a craft stick to the bottom of the clown's face so they can hold it in front of their own face.

Ferris Wheel

What would a carnival be without rides? A Ferris wheel may be the quintessential symbol of a carnival. With two paper plates and some pencils or markers, Crayola has a craft that will let them make their own. Have the kids draw the spokes and lights for their Ferris wheel on one of the paper plates. They may want to make interesting designs with a variety of colors on this plate. On the other plate, they can draw seats and people around the edge. With a hole punch, an adult can make seven holes around the outside of both plates about an inch from the edge of the plate as well as one in the middle of them both. (For the middle, use a sharp pair of scissors to poke a hole.) Kids can then lay the plates on top of each other and push a pencil through each hole. They'll then pull the plates apart about five inches so they can see both plates. By turning the pencil in the middle, they can turn their Ferris wheel.

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