This Paper Plate Pilgrim Craft is the perfect opportunity to talk to your children about the history of our country. Travel back in time with this super fun pilgrim Thanksgiving craft!
Most people hear the story of the first American Thanksgiving from a young age and it is pretty simple. It goes a little something like this: A group of Pilgrims, fleeing because of religious beliefs, sail to North America and settle at Plymouth Rock. After a VERY hard winter and challenging growing season, they celebrate a successful harvest with their new friends, the nearby Native Americans. This is why we still celebrate their triumphs today.
I’ve been remiss on providing many resources for Thanksgiving. The fall holiday season is RIPE with terrific crafting ideas and opportunities. Here’s my first Thanksgiving craft to share. Isn’t it cute?
Your kids are going to LOVE this Paper Plate Pilgrim Craft!
This one is for slightly older kids (6+). If you want something for the littles to do while you’re cooking the feast, be sure to give them my Thanksgiving coloring pages – they’ll stay busy AND create fun pictures to touch up the decor!
This fun paper plate pilgrim craft does not require many supplies – in fact, you probably already have the supplies you need!
Once your kids have finished their paper plate pilgrim ship, ask them to write a few sentences about the pilgrims’ journey and experiences on the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock.
It’s a great way to tie in many different pieces of the experience and the modern celebration we share today.
Supplies Needed For This Paper Plate Pilgrim Craft
Making a paper plate pilgrim ship doesn’t require anything fancy. If you’re missing anything, I’ve included helpful (affiliate) links to make finding them easier.
- Paper Plate – the standard 9 inch plate works best with the templates.
- Craft Paper – construction paper or colored cardboard hold up well.
- Pencil – mark where you want to cut the slits in the plate.
- Scissors – appropriate for the age of children working on this craft.
- Glue – glue stick or Elmer’s Glue.
- Popsicle Stick – any color craft sticks will look great.
- Marker Pen – it’s always good to have a variety of colored marker pens at the ready.
How to Make This Paper Plate Pilgrim Craft
The process for making this pilgrim ship craft is simple. Just download the PDF template and follow the steps!
Cut out the characters, ship, and backgrounds from the free PDF templates.
Glue the characters’ clothes on them.
Glue the hat and fur on the characters’ heads.
Draw the characters’ faces using a marker pen.
Glue the popsicle sticks on the back of the characters.
Glue the masts with the ship.
Then, glue the sails on the masts.
Glue the windows/gunport on the ship.
Glue a popsicle stick on the back of the ship.
Take the paper plate and cut the corners to put the popsicle sticks through.
Take your backgrounds and place the backgrounds inside the paper plate. Then place the ship through a slot.
Finally, place the characters inside the paper plate
Paper Plate Pilgrim Craft Notes And Tips
- A glue gun can work well for this craft. If you think a glue gun will work best, be sure an adult is available to supervise.
- I would suggest using the lightweight paper plates. They will be easier to work with and cut.
- Plastic plates will not work well for this craft. They will be harder to cut, the glue will not adhere well nor will the markers/crayons work on plastic plates.
Variations Of The Paper Plate Pilgrim Ship Craft To Try
- Using the templates, try cutting out different colors of clothing for Pilgrims and Native Americans.
- Use markers or crayons to color in the background on the paper plate instead of using paper. Or use them to add decorations and make a unique craft.
- If the kids love painting and you have the supplies available, let them paint different backgrounds on the paper plates.
Paper Plate Pilgrim Craft FAQs
Here are a few common questions I see readers ask. If you have a question you don’t see down below, please leave it in the comments so I can answer it!
Can I use a box cutter knife to cut the slits for the craft sticks?
That is definitely a great option! I would recommend that an adult be present to oversee the process or to actually cut the slits instead of allowing the children to use the box cutter knife.
What type of glue will work best for my Paper Plate Pilgrim Ship Craft?
Elmer’s Glue, a glue stick, or craft glue will be the best options. They are all kid-friendly which is a must with crafts involving children.
If you think that a glue gun will work better in certain situations, be sure to have an adult present and available to assist.
Can I use paper plates smaller or larger than the standard size?
Yes, you can. However, you need to keep in mind that the background templates will need to be adjusted to fit accordingly.
Which side of the plate do I use for the Paper Plate Pilgrim Ship Craft?
Either the front or back will work perfectly! Each person will have their own preference on what works best for them – and that’s ok! 😁
Don’t forget to grab your free template download so you can go ahead and get started crafting!
More Kid-Friendly DIY Crafts To Try
If you love this paper plate pilgrim craft, make sure you choose these other ideas too!
- Orange Glitter Fall Slime
- 5-Minute Non-Toxic Easy Homemade Playdough
- Easy DIY Glow-In-The-Dark Bath Bombs
- DIY Outdoor Puffy Paint
- Easy DIY Nutella Edible Playdough
- Paper plate
- Craft paper
- Popsicle stick
- Marker pen
- Using the PDF templates, cut out the characters, ship and backgrounds.
- Glue the clothes, hat and fur on the characters.
- Using the marker pen, draw the faces on each character.
- Glue a popsicle stick on the back of each of the characters.
- Glue the mast and the sails on the ship.
- Glue the gunport/windows on the ship.
- Glue a popsicle stick on the back of each ship.
- With the paper plate, cut the corners to put the popsicle stick through it.
- With the backgrounds, place them inside the paper plate.
- Place the ship through a slot.
- Last, place the characters inside the paper plate.