How to Make a Turtle Craft

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Children's experiences with turtles in real life and in literature form the basis of turtle crafts.
Children's experiences with turtles in real life and in literature form the basis of turtle crafts. (Image: Sean Murphy/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Turtles appear frequently in children’s literature, including the classic children’s story, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” and the popular rhyme, “There Was a Little Turtle.” After reading to them, help children make connections between the story and turtles they may have seen crawling across the yard or swimming in a pond. Turtle crafts can enrich children’s appreciation for these animals as they create the turtle’s shell and other body parts using inexpensive craft materials found at any craft and hobby store.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper plate
  • Green Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Green craft foam
  • Glue
  • Wiggly eyes, 4
  • Black marker
  • Construction paper or card stock
  • Green or brown yarn
  • Green or brown pipe cleaners, 2

Paper Plate Turtle

Paint the bottom of a paper plate green.

Cut a large oval shape from green craft foam.

Glue the large oval to the edge of the paper plate to make the turtle’s head.

Cut four smaller oval shapes from green craft foam.

Glue two of the smaller ovals to the edge of the plate near the turtle’s head for front legs.

Glue the two remaining ovals on the opposite edge of the plate for back legs.

Cut a small triangle from green craft foam.

Glue the triangle to the back of the plate between the legs for a tail.

Cut several circles in different sizes from green craft foam.

Glue the circles to the middle of the paper plate to make spots on the turtle’s shell.

Glue two wiggly eyes onto the turtle’s head.

Draw a mouth using a black marker.

Yarn Turtle

Cut a circle from a piece of construction paper or card stock.

Squeeze glue onto the circle, completely covering it.

Press the end of a piece of green or brown yarn onto the middle of the circle.

Wrap the yarn around itself many times to fill the entire circle.

Cut a green or brown pipe cleaner into four pieces.

Bend each piece and glue them underneath the circle to create the turtle’s legs.

Cut another green or brown pipe cleaner in half.

Form one of the halves into a loop, and glue the ends underneath the circle to create the turtle’s head.

Cut a small piece off of the other half of the pipe cleaner.

Glue the small piece to the back of the circle to make the turtle’s tail.

Glue two wiggly eyes to the top of the pipe cleaner that forms the turtle’s head.

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