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|Our subscribers' grade-level estimate for this page: Kindergarten - 1st|
Aquarium Paper Plate Diorama Craft
This simple aquarium diorama is made from two paper plates, construction paper and a bit of clear plastic. The child cuts out fish, starfish, kelp, coral, and other sea creatures to decorate the seascape.
|Cut a Viewing Window: Turn one paper plate upside down and draw a circle around the base of the plate (you will cut out the entire bottom of the plate, the part of plate that you would normally put food on). This plate will become the viewing window of the aquarium.
Cut along the circle you drew (have an adult start the cut with a pointy scissors or a craft knife; the child can finish the cutting using a blunt scissors).
|Cover the Viewing Area With Plastic: Cut a circle of clear plastic slightly larger than the hole in the front plate (the plastic should be about 1/4 inch larger than the hole). You can use the thick plastic that is used as packing material on many of the things we buy (the thicker plastic is easier to work with than thin plastic film that can tear and stick to itself). Tape the plastic to the inside of the plate, where the food would normally be.|
Work on the Lower Plate (which contains the ocean diorama):
|Make a Blue Background (if you're using a blue plate, omit this step):You can either color the background blue or cut out a circle of blue construction paper and glue it in place. If you opt to use paper, use the circle you cut out as a template to cut out a blue construction-paper circle for the background of your aquarium. Glue the blue circle to the plate (glue it to the surface where the food would normally go).|
|Draw and Make Construction-Paper Plants and Animals for the Diorama: The plants and animals in your diorama can be drawn or cut out of construction paper. Kelp (green or brown) and brightly-colored coral are good for the background. Then, either draw or cut out paper fish, starfish, jellyfish, seahorses, sharks, whales, and/or other creatures for the foreground. You can draw them yourself, or go to a template with many ocean creatures.
If you are drawing the fish yourself, you can use the following steps to draw them:
Go to a template for some sea creatures.
|Add the Construction-Paper Plants and Animals to the Diorama: Glue some of the creatures to the background.
Others creatures can hang from threads so they look like they're swimming. For each hanging creature, cut a short length of thread. Tape one end of the thread to the back of a fish; tape the other end of the thread to the top of the plate.
|Finish the Aquarium: Tape or staple the top plate to the back plate. Have the child write his/her name on the back of the aquarium.
Now you have a cute paper plate diorama of an aquarium.
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