Paper plates are one of our favorite craft supplies to work with. They’re cheap and easy for toddlers and preschoolers to use. Paper plates make great canvases because they can hold more ink or paint than regular paper. Here is a cute hot air balloon craft you can do with your little one who is interested in everything related to balloons!
Lately, Toot has been obsessed with balloons. All she wanted for her birthday was balloons and cake. So we started talking about hot air balloons, and we read some books about them like Curious George and the Hot Air Balloon. Our friend Amanda showed us how to make this cute craft and it’s so much fun!
Try this out with your little one. Don’t worry if they aren’t Pinteresty and perfect. The point of this craft is to have fun!
Ages for this craft:
This is a fun craft you can do with your toddler or preschooler. Toot is just now three years old so I guess she’s a preschooler now? She’s not going to preschool. I’m just going to do preschool from home. You can always modify this hot air balloon craft for younger toddlers. And even babies can do this craft if you do most of the work. They can color and scribble on the plate at least.
Older kids can do their own cutting and gluing. Glue sticks are nice for little hands to use. I wouldn’t let a kid use a hot glue gun though.
Use your best judgement for your child. If you don’t trust your four-year-old with scissors, I don’t blame you! But if you’ve never tried scissors with your toddler or preschooler before, they might surprise you. We’re just starting out with safety scissors and it’s helping her fine motor skills.
Supplies needed for this Hot Air Balloon Craft:
- Paper Plates
- Tempra Paints and Paint Brushes or markers (markers mean less mess)
- Paper Straws
- Glue or a Hot Glue Gun
Cut one of your paper plates in half. Then cut the two sides of the plate to form a rectangular shape. This will be your hot air balloon’s basket.
Cut vertical lines down your basket, but don’t cut all the way down! (If you’d rather skip this part to make it easier for your toddler, just keep this shape intact and skip the weaving.)
Out of the scrap paper plate half, cut small strips of paper plate.
Weave the strips of paper plate through your basket piece, under, over, under over.
When it is weaved, secure with glue.
Add a bit of glue to a paper straw and glue on on each side of the back of the basket.
Add glue to the other end of the straws and glue to the back of the still whole paper plate.
You will now have your balloon shape. It is ready to begin decorating! Let your little one go with the markers and paint brushes to create whatever hot air balloon design they’d like!
Paint or color the basket area brown. Or whatever color your toddler wants. Baskets of hot air balloons are usually brown, but they can take creative liberty.
The top of the hot air balloon can be decorated in any pattern or shapes that you would like! Paint, glitter, markers, sequins, etc can all be used. Try adding some stickers too!
Ta da! You can do as much detail as you want. Splotches of color are also acceptable for little ones. lol
Some of our favorite hot air balloon books:
How did your hot air balloon craft turn out?
Let me know in the comments below! Did you nail it? Or was your toddler in complete control and get glue everywhere? lol As long as you have fun it’s a win. If it looks pretty, that’s just a bonus.
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