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Crafts And Conversation: Paper Plate Crown 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 Andrea and make a paper plate crown for play time! Follow along as Andrea takes you through each step and see how a regular paper plate can turn into a mystical crown!

Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity to ask your children what they know about leadership. 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

  • Scissors

  • Materials for decoration: markers, colored pencils, crayons, stickers, foam shapes, or any other fun item!


  1.  Fold the paper plate in half.

  2. Start at the folded, long edge of the paper plate and cut three slits that reach the ruffled edge of the paper plate. Your cutting should result in four triangles.

  3. Unfold the paper plate. You will notice that two of the triangles are wider than the others. Cut the wider triangles down the middle with scissors, that way you have triangles of roughly the same size. This should result in a total of eight triangles.

  4. Unfold the paper plate and decorate with crayons, markers, colored pencils, stickers, foam shapes, or any other material. Be as creative as you’d like!

  5. Fold the decorated triangles up and toward the ruffled edges to form the crown. Each triangle should stand up.

The DUCK Lab: Paper Plate Crown

Relation to Developmental Science:

Although a paper plate crown might seem to tap only into imagination and pretend play, this craft offers an opportunity to chat with children about what it means to be a leader. Young children can decipher who is in charge across many situations, which suggests that they are attuned to what behaviors and characteristics denote a leader above and beyond wearing a crown. As they enter school, they experience more and more situations that necessitate leadership or some sort of hierarchy. Parents might use this craft activity as a time to ask children what they think it means to be a leader or why leaders play an important role in society. Parents can also use this craft to ask children what characteristics they think are important for leading people (e.g., listening to others, persevering through hardship) and how those characteristics might differ depending on a situation (e.g., a leader on the soccer team vs. a leader for a school project).  

*Great for older children!

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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