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Crafts And Conversation: Paper Plate Apple Pie With The DUCK Lab

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

Get crafty with the DUCK Lab! Each Friday, trained research assistants from the UNCG Psychology Department’s DUCK Lab will guide at-home crafts for children ages 3 to 12. Parents can join too to learn fun facts about crafts that foster age-appropriate skills or learn about the DUCK Lab’s nonprofit child development research projects. 

This Friday, the DUCK Lab invites all school-age friends to join Kathleen and make a paper plate apple pie to prepare for Thanksgiving! Follow along as Kathleen takes you through each step and see how craft materials come together to resemble a delicious dessert.

Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity for your children to illustrate their metacognitive abilities. Read on below for more info. about the connection between these types of activities and age-appropriate developmental milestones.

We also invite you to check out our child development research opportunities, which are now modified for the virtual world! Please click here to learn more or sign up to participate with us.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • 1 paper plate

  • Brown construction paper

  • Brown yarn

  • 1 cotton ball

  • Scissors

  • Tape

  • Glue


  1. Cut a paper plate into four triangle shapes. Use only one of the four paper plate triangles for craft assembly.

  2. Cut a triangle out of the brown construction paper to cover the paper plate triangle. Glue the brown triangle onto the paper plate triangle.

  3. Cut 4 small squares out of the brown construction paper. Glue the 4 brown squares to the outer edge of the paper plate triangle to make the crust.

  4. Cut several small pieces of brown yarn. Glue the yarn onto the pie in a grid pattern to decorate the pie.

  5. Glue a cotton ball to the center of the pie for the whipped cream.

The DUCK Lab: Paper Plate Apple Pie

Relation to Developmental Science:

Food has significant social and cultural implications. It offers an occasion for sharing and can become a cultural symbol of kinship and support. Research has shown that children are highly attuned to and influenced by others’ food preferences. This is important because, in middle childhood, children begin to prioritize social relationships with their peers. They are learning how to manage social relationships and be more socially competent. This suggests that children at this age not only take into account adults’ judgments about food, but also judgments from peers. This has important implications for food preferences because sweet/dessert foods are often positively perceived by other people, which might contribute to how much kids like things like pie. Additionally, children at this age excel at recognizing variability in personal preferences, such as the fact that someone might like or dislike a particular food, which lends itself to better social literacy. 

*Great for children in middle childhood!

The DUCK Lab is a partner in the nonprofit Child Development Research Center in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They conduct studies of social and cognitive development with 2- to 12- year-olds. Families who participate in their research studies are volunteers in the Greensboro community who generously offer their time to help support research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

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