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Crafts And Conversation: Paper Plate Dinosaur With The DUCK Lab

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 elementary-age friends to join Kimmy and make a paper plate dinosaur! Follow along as Kimmy takes you through each step and see what tips and tricks you can use to make your dinosaur most effectively!

Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity for children to engage in perseverance and practice adding new groups to their existent categories. 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:


  • Paper plate

  • Construction paper

  • Googly eyes

  • Glue (dots, stick, or liquid)

  • Markers or other decorative material (foam shapes, stickers, etc.)


  1. Cut your paper plate in half.

  2. Cut body parts (legs, head, tail) from the construction paper.

  3. Use glue to attach the googly eyes to the dinosaur’s head.

  4. Use glue to attach the legs, head, and tail to the body.

  5. Decorate the paper plate with markers and stickers.

The DUCK Lab: Paper Plate Dinosaur

Relation to Developmental Science:

Children are gaining more confidence in middle childhood, yet they also seek out the approval of the adults in their lives. Therefore, when a step for the craft seems frustrating for a child or they struggle with completing the instructions, parents can try pointing out and reminding children about what they can do, what they are good at, or how often times things get better with practice. By age six, children also have a strong understanding of fantasy and reality. To them, a dinosaur may seem like a fantasy creature since they have never seen one in-person, but this craft can assist in showcasing to children that there are more categories for animals than fact and fiction. Even though children do not see dinosaurs in real life anymore, they once existed. Therefore, children can be reminded that there is a distinction between fantasy and animals that were endangered and are now extinct (like a dinosaur).

*Great for children in middle childhood, but fun for older kids too!

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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