Arts and crafts are an excellent way to teach children about new concepts. Students can learn cutting, pasting and designing, work their hand-eye coordination, and visualize concepts much easier. There are many mediums you can use to create arts and crafts for young children; one of the cheapest and most adaptable is paper plates.
Animals - Animals like lions, bears, snakes, monkeys and tigers fascinate children who may never have had the chance to see these wonderful beasts in their natural habitat. Use paper plates to create personalized versions of these animals. Have the children use one paper plate for a body and use other paper plates to create a head, legs and any other body part they might need. Draw faces, toes and other details on the animal, and color the animals in. For more fun, glue a small piece of paper on the back as a pouch for the child's hand to create a puppet.
Mask - Another easy craft that is appropriate for small children is a mask. Paper plate masks are perfect for small children as they will fit the child's face easily. Have the child draw a face on the mask. He can add anything else he likes to the mask using other paper plates. Color the mask in. Help the child use scissors to carefully cut out the eye holes and mouth hole. Punch small holes through each side of the mask; tie a small string in those holes to hold the mask to the child's face. Make sure the string is slightly elastic to allow some give.
Wreaths - A paper plate wreath is simple enough for most children to make and can be used for multiple occasions. Start by cutting a large hold in the middle of the plate. It should be circular and should leave at least 2 inches around the wreath. Have your children color the plate a holiday-appropriate color--orange and black for Halloween, pink and red for Valentine's Day, or red and green for Christmas. Give the child some holiday-appropriate decorations--such as bows, tinsel, small bells, candy hearts or plastic spiders--to glue onto the wreath.