Paper Plate Centers: DIY

Ya’ll know how much I love making things.   And doing it on the cheap.  You know how much I love to use random items in my classroom because we all know that the brain loves novelty…so why not make paper plate centers?  I mean, those things are super cheap and they hold up well.  They’re easy to turn into puzzles for centers and they’re super fun!   So here are 4 ways to use paper plate centers!

All you need are paper plates which are like $3 for a hundred plates and markers.  If you have stickers, even better but not required!

Another great thing about these is that they are self checking!  When you cut the paper plates apart, cut each one in a different pattern so they only fit together in one way!

Numbers and Counting

paper plate counting centers paper plate centers numbers

I used dot stickers on these but you can also just draw the circles with markers!   These can be differentiated to count to 10 or 20!

Tally Marks

paper plate tally marks paper plate math centers

Again, I wrote the numbers and made the tally marks and then cut the plates apart to make self checking puzzles!

Letter Recognition

paper plate letterspaper plate centers

This is great for letter recognition but you could differentiate this just to do letter matching with only uppercase letters or only lowercase letters.  You can also differentiate this to work on letters that your students are struggling with!   Can we say B, b, D, d, P, p, Q and q???

Sight Words

paper plate centerspaper plate sight words

Again, this paper plate center can be easily differentiated!  After assessing, look at the most missed words for your class and make a set of paper plate puzzles for them to practice!   To give them a little more practice, throw in some smelly markers or crayons or stamps or gel pens and have them write the word when they find a match!

If you’re looking for quick and easy assessment, check out ESGI!   It’s a one on one assessment tool that will make assessing and data analysis so easy!   With ESGI and these paper plates, you can create all kinds of differentiated centers to meet the needs of your kids with little effort!   BAM!

More Paper Plate Centers Ideas:





names (beginning of the year)


ten frames

For more centers, check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store for teacher friendly and kid friendly centers/workstations!  My centers are created to be consistent throughout the year so students can do them independently and teachers can teach without spending time teaching new centers each week!  My centers follow the same process but the skills and clipart change!   Classroom proven, research based, and easy!


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