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Easy Paper-Plate Dream Catchers

Sep 27, 2016

Sometimes when the hooligans and I are chatting here in my daycare, they get talking about a a dream they had the night before, and that gets everyone talking about their dreams. Inevitably, someone will mention a bad dream that they had, and the conversation takes a turn.

Often, when they get talking about scary dreams, they start discussing other things that scare them at bedtime — monsters under the bed, their fear of the dark, and being left alone in their room after they've been tucked in. These bedtime fears are common among little ones, and while kids should talk about their fears with a parent or caregiver, talking about them with other little ones can instil new fears in the heads of the other children.

When this happens here in my daycare, I like to introduce the hooligans to my "dream catchers", which are based on the dream catchers originated by the Ojibwe Nation. A dream catcher is a woven web that’s said to allow only good thoughts through to enter our minds when we’re sleeping. The web traps any bad thoughts before they can enter our dreams.

Colourful rings of paper plate, painted bright colours and woven with yarn which has beads strung along it.

Then we set about making simple paper plate dream catchers that the kids can take home to hang in their bedrooms.

These dream catchers are fun and easy to make, and the process is made up of a number of steps that help to develop fine motor control.


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Let me show you how we make them!

To make a paper plate dream catcher, you’ll need:

  • paper plate
  • paint
  • paintbrushes
  • hole punch
  • beads
  • craft feathers
  • yarn
  • plastic sewing needle (optional)
  • tape

You can begin by cutting the centre out of your paper plate, leaving only the rim to work with, or your child can paint the entire plate, and cut the centre out when the paint is dry.

Have your child paint the paper plate in their favourite colours. Let them decorate it however they want. My youngest hooligans like to blend and mix their colours, or paint large blocks of colour while the older kids prefer to paint more detailed designs.

Children painting the rings of their plates with bright paint.

When the paint is dry, have your child punch holes all around the rim of the plate. Using a hole punch can be tricky for young children but it’s great for developing hand muscles and co-ordination. See how well your child can manage without help before jumping in to assist.


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Now it’s time to weave that web. 

A child using a large plastic needle to weave yarn through the holes in the rim of their paper plates.

Cut a long length of yarn, and tape it to the back of the plate. Your child will weave the yarn in and out of the holes, criss-crossing over the open centre of the plate, and threading beads on to the yarn wherever they wish.

A shot of the opening in the middle of the plate, criss-crossed with pieces of beaded yarn.

When they’re happy with the web they’ve woven, secure the loose end of yarn to the back of the plate with another piece of tape.

To finish the dream catcher, cut several pieces of yarn in varying lengths. Tape these to the back of the plate, allowing them to dangle freely. String a few beads onto these pieces of yarn, and knot them in place, leaving a length of tail. Glue a few feathers to the tails of yarn, and your dream catcher is complete!

A child gluing a coloured feather to a piece of string.

Tape a loop of yarn to the top for hanging.

A finished dream catcher hanging.

Sweet dreams!

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Read more from Jackie here.

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.

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