contributed by Leanne Guenther
A simple paper plate wreath the kids have fun making and decorating! Perfect for children celebrating the olympics or learning about ancient Greece. This craft can either be a laurel wreath or an olive wreath.
Olive wreaths were given to the winners of olympic games in ancient Greece and are associated with Hercules in Greek mythology. They were originally made from a branch of
the olive trees growing in Olympia (the place in Greece where the Olympics were held). In Greek mythology, the wild olive trees in Olympia were planted by Hercules near the temple of his
father Zeus. And, yes, these are the trees that olives grow on!
Laurel wreaths were given to scholars, poets and conquering heroes (like Julius Caesar) in ancient Greece. They are associated with Apollo in Greek mythology. Laurel wreaths are still given to some graduates of university. The laurel wreath was made from laurel bushes. Laurel leaves, also known as bay leaves, are nice smelling and can be used to flavour food (I use them in soup!)
- green construction paper (preferably two different shades) or you can use the printable template provided.
- paper plate,
- Optional: printable templates (see bottom of this page)
- Cut the center from a paper plate so that you have a donut shape. This will likely require an adult's help as you need to cut out the center without cutting through the edge of the plate. I usually just poke a hole in the very middle with a sharpened pencil and use that as a starting point for my scissors.
- Cut leaves out of construction paper (or use the printable templates at the bottom
of this page). I actually prefer construction paper leaves, not the template, because the construction paper is green on both sides. However, if you're encouraging scissor skills with
preschoolers, the templates can be a nice opportunity to practice.
- Fold a piece of green construction paper in half. Rub your finger along the crease so it's a nice clean fold.
- NOTE: older children and adults can fold 2 or 3 times before cutting to make a group of leaves. Young children should stick to a single fold, at least to start with.
- Cut a half leaf shape out along the fold, so that when you open your leaf it's symmetrical (the same on both sides) with a fold down the center.
- Repeat this process until you have a lot of leaves (we used about 4 sheets of construction paper).
- Glue leaves (preferably two different shades of green) on the paper plate starting at the top of the plate with the tips of the leaves pointing up and the bottoms of the leaves meeting at the bottom of the plate.
- The leaves should overlap slightly.
- Encourage the children to have fun making their own patterns with different shades of green.
- Optional: Add the bow from the "with bow" template to the bottom of your paper plate wreath.
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).