50% Off Our Lifetime Plan! Ends Soon.Learn more

Make a Paper Plate Teepee

3.8 based on 6 ratings
Updated on Jul 16, 2014

Your child doesn't need 20 foot poles and buffalo skins to make her own teepee — all it takes is a paper plate and a couple of straws! As you do this project with your child, discuss the first Thanksgiving and Native American traditions. You can even tell a story as the teepee comes together, about a tribe that gathers the necessary materials, paints the teepee, and puts it together. When you're all done, you'll have a fantastic Thanksgiving decoration!

What You Need:

  • Small paper plate (6 inches)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Three straws
  • Stapler

What You Do:

  1. Talk with your child about teepes! What are they? What are they made of? Look at some pictures in books or on the computer and tell your child to pay attention to the symbols. Explain to her that these symbols often told stories.
  2. Give your child a small paper plate and the crayons or markers. This plate will be the "skin" for the outside of the teepee. Ask her to decorate the plate any way she'd like. The more she draws, the more fun her teepee will be!
  3. Flip the plate over so that the blank side is facing up. Make sure to remember which is the top of the plate and which is the bottom (You don't want the pictures to be upside-down!).
  4. Lay the three straws on the plate in a triangular shape (one to the left, one to the right, and one in the middle) so that they overlap at the top. Let a centimeter or so of each straw stick out over the top edge of the plate. The straws should still stick out over the bottom edge of the plate, too. This way, it will be able to stand on its straw poles!
  5. Press the straws down flat at the point where they overlap and staple them to the plate. Make sure your child keeps her fingers away from the stapler!
  6. Now, pull the sides of the plate in toward the middle to make a cone shape. Staple the cone shut.
  7. Stand your child's teepee up on its straw legs and admire her artwork! Have her tell you why she drew each picture or symbol if she'd like.

Display your child's art proudly! It'll look great on your table or mantel when your Thanksgiving guests arrive.