Mayflower Craft: Make a Paper Ship for Thanksgiving!

This Mayflower craft is the cutest Thanksgiving craft for kids. Our Mayflower is a paper ship craft using a few common supplies like a paper plate, a straw and some construction paper. Kids of all ages can make their own Mayflower boat art. We love this Mayflower craft idea for preschoolers and Kindergartners – at home or in the classroom!

paper plate boat Mayflower craft for Thanksgiving - finished Mayflower ship art on blue construction paper - Kids Activities Blog
Make a Thanksgiving Mayflower sailing ship paper plate boat craft.

Easy Paper Plate Mayflower Craft for Kids

Let’s make a paper plate Thanksgiving Mayflower craft that looks just like the sailing ship the Pilgrims sailed in on their way to America. The Mayflower traveled across the Atlantic Ocean carrying with it 102 passengers who were pilgrims looking for new land.

Related: How to make a paper boat

Who knew a paper boat could be so cute? This makes a great Thanksgiving craft while teaching our children about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.

This is an easy and fun Thanksgiving craft to make with the kids. They will love painting with paper towels and cotton balls instead of paintbrushes.

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supplies needed to make a paper boat sailing ship with kids
Here are the supplies you need to make a paper plate boat craft.

Supplies needed to make a Thanksgiving Mayflower boat

Instructions for Thanksgiving Mayflower Craft

how to cut and paint a paper plate boat
Cut your paper plate into a boat shape and paint it brown using a paper towel.

Step 1

We started by cutting the bottom portion of a paper plate to look like a boat. Actually we really just trimmed each side of the plate a little to give it a ship-like look.

Then we used a paper towel to paint the paper plate boat brown. Paper towels with paint create a streaky look on the surface you are painting on. We were trying to give the bottom of the boat a wooden look.

How to cut a paper plate into sails for a sailing ship.
Cut the remainder of the paper plate into sails for the boat.

Step 2

The remaining section of the paper plate was cut into three sails. We cut two smaller sails for the front section of the boat and a larger one for the back.

How to make paper plate sails for a boat using straws.
Cut slits in the sails and put a straw through them.

Step 3

We cut two small slits in each of the sails to pass a narrow straw through. The two front sails were placed on one straw and the larger sail was given a straw of its own.

Use cotton balls and different shades of blue paint to paint waves and water on card stock.
Paint waves and water on the blue card stock using cotton balls and paint.

Step 4

The sails were set aside and we started working on painting the water and waves on the blue construction paper. We dabbed blue paint onto cotton balls and then stamped it onto the construction paper. The blue dabs were supposed to represent the movement of the water.

A Mayflower boat craft to make out of paper plates and straws for Thanksgiving.
How to make a Mayflower boat craft with kids for Thanksgiving.

Step 5

After all the paint had dried on the boat and the blue paper, we started to assemble the boat. The first thing we did was glue the boat onto the blue paper. Then we put glue onto the back of the sails. The sails were positioned so the ends of the straws would be hidden behind the plate.

Related boat crafts: origami boat and make a homemade boat

Yield: 1 Boat

Thanksgiving Mayflower Paper Boat

paper plate boat Mayflower craft for Thanksgiving

Make a super simple yet cute Mayflower boat to help celebrate Thanksgiving. The Mayflower traveled across the Atlantic Ocean carrying with it pilgrims looking for a new land.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost under $10

Materials

  • 2 Paper plates
  • Blue paint
  • Brown paint
  • 2 straws
  • Paper towel
  • Cotton balls
  • Blue construction paper
  • Glue

Tools

  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. We started by cutting the bottom portion of a paper plate to look like boat. Actually we really just trimmed each side of the plate a little to give it a ship like look.
  2. Then we used a wadded up paper towel to paint the boat portion of the plate brown. Paper towels with paint create a streaky look on the surface you are painting on. We were trying to give the bottom of the boat a wooden look.
  3. The remaining section of the paper plate was cut into three sails. Two smaller sails for the front section of the boat and a larger one for the back.
  4. We cut two small slits in each of the sails to pass a narrow straw through. The two front sail were place on one straw and the larger sail was given a straw of its own.
  5. The sails were set aside and we started working on painting the water on a piece of blue construction paper. We dabbed blue paint onto a cotton ball and then stamped it onto the construction paper. The blue dabs were supposed to represent the movement of the water.
  6. After all the paint had dried on the boat and the blue paper, we started to assemble the boat. The first thing we did was glue the boat onto the blue paper. Then we put glue onto the back of the sails. The sails were positioned so the ends of the straws would be hidden behind the plate.

More Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts from Kids Activities Blog

How did your Mayflower paper plate craft turn out? Was it seaworthy?

3 Comments

  1. I have been trying to think of a way to make a Mayflower ship that would be preschooler friendly. This is a great idea and very cute!

  2. Excellent. Ive been looking everywhere for this. THX

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