activity paper lilypads

Paper Lilypads

Floaty, funky flowers are waiting to spring from your kitchen cupboards. Dreaming up upcycled blossoms is perfect practice for small motor skills and creativity.


This can get messy, so be sure to cover your child and your workspace, too. See our FAQ for helpful and easy cover-up tips.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Paper plates like these 9 inch, white plates found on Amazon. We go for the cheap, thin kind from our grocery or dollar store. In a pinch, you can recycle a piece of cardboard or a shoebox lid for a base. 
  2. Egg cartons cut into single egg cups. Any kind you have around, such as paper egg cartons like these or styrofoam will do. Adults, prepare these before hand using strong scissors.
  3. Paper cupcake liners - Large-sized and small-sized cupcake liners like these
  4. Tissue paper in assorted colors, found here - cut or torn into pieces
  5. Drawing materials - Large crayons or child-safe, washable markers like this example.
  6. White glue or clear glue like this works best here. Avoid glue sticks such as these because they don't work well with heavier materials like egg cartons and cupcake liners.
  7. Optional - Decorative odds and ends. Use your fabric scraps, bits of trim like this, assorted beads, bag of sequins, or cotton balls to add details as desired.
  8. Optional - Glitter found here for a sparkly effect. You'll want to use your clear glue (noted above) with your glitter.
  1. Skilly-spark: Talk with your child about spring flowers, their colors, shapes and details. Ask them to think about which flowers they would like to create. Maybe you can go for a quick, inspiring walk to to see the blooms living outside your door!
  2. After you’ve gathered your materials, take a moment look and explore how they can become part of a flower.
  3. Using a paper plate for a base, show your child how to glue cupcake liners as one type of flower.
  4. Then, demonstrate how egg carton cups can be used as another type of flower.
  5. Crumpled pieces of tissue paper can create another type of flower-- or can be made into petals or blossom decorations.
  6. Stems, leaves and grass can be drawn on their garden’s paper-plate base with markers or crayons.
  7. Need more? Buttons, bits of left-over fabric and trim, markers or crayons can be used to add even more details to the flowers.
  8. Let your child's imagination run wild until the activity comes to it’s natural end.
Keep the fun going
  • Use colored paper plates to quickly create different flower-friendly environments. Blue plates can become lily ponds, green plates can be a local park, yellow plates could be a beach ...
  • Next time, encourage your kids create anything they can imagine with these materials. What other things can they see and make?
  • Transform your child’s Paper Lilypad into a springtime wreath or use as a centerpiece for your next garden-themed party-- real or pretend!