Fine Motor Octopus Craft for Kids

Here’s a fun ocean animal craft for kids– paper plate and pasta octopus craft! Not only is it fun to make, but it also provides all kinds of fine motor practice and can be done over and over.

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Here's a fun summer craft for kids that also provides fine motor and counting practice~ A Paper Plate Octopus! ~ Buggy and Buddy


With our local aquarium having a new octopus exhibit, my 2 1/2 year old son has become quite fascinated with all things octopus. I thought it’d be fun to create an octopus inspired craft for him that also provided counting and fine motor practice.

Our fine motor octopus is super simple to make, using items you most likely already have at home. And not only did it provide fine motor and counting practice like I had hoped, but I noticed my 6 year old daughter using it to create patterns!

Here’s how to make this fun octopus craft for kids! (This post contains affiliate links.)


Here's a fun summer craft for kids that also provides fine motor and counting practice~ A Paper Plate Octopus! ~ Buggy and Buddy

Fine Motor Octopus Craft for Kids

Materials for the Octopus Craft

  • Paper plate
  • Single hole punch
  • Pipe cleaners (We received our fuzzy sticks for free from Craftprojectideas.)
  • Markers
  • Rigatoni pasta (Some rigatoni is wider than others. If you want your pasta to stay on the pipe cleaners, be sure to use the skinnier rigatoni. We found ours at our local Target.)


using dyed pasta in summer craft for kids

Directions for Making the Octopus Craft

We dyed our pasta before using it for this craft!

1. Draw an octopus face on your paper plate. (Your child might enjoy doing this on his/her own!)

2. Punch eight holes along the bottom rim of the paper plate.

3. Twist one pipe cleaner into each hole.

4. Leave a bowl of colored rigatoni pasta nearby for your child to use. (If you don’t have pasta, you can also cut up straws into small pieces to use instead.)


Paper Plate Octopus Craft

Using the Octopus Craft

How my toddler used the activity: My son loved sliding the pasta onto each leg of the octopus. Sometimes we’d count together as he added the pasta, and other times he just sat quietly working. He literally did this for over 30 minutes and came back to it often over a period of a few days, removing the pasta and doing it over again and again.


Summer Craft for Kids: Fine Motor Octopus


How my Kindergartener used the activity: Lucy also enjoyed playing with the fine motor octopus. She started by making patterns with the colored pasta. Then she moved onto counting. She wanted to see how many pieces of pasta would fit on the plate and counted out 200 pasta pieces and checked to see if they’d all fit onto the plate. (They did!)

I  always love how the kids surprise me with ideas they come up with all on their own. Our fine motor octopus ended up providing a lot more opportunities for learning that I had originally intended!


Here's a fun summer craft for kids that also provides fine motor and counting practice~ A Paper Plate Octopus! ~ Buggy and Buddy

fine motor octopus craft for kids using a paper plate

Find more fun activities in our ebook! Learn more about it here, or buy it now here!

Fizz, Pop, Bang! 40 Playful Science and Math Activities for Kids

Paper Plate Octopus Craft: Fun fine motor activity for preschoolers and perfect for an ocean or sea life theme! ~


  1. So cute! I bet my kids would love it!

  2. So simple, but also creative. I love the “arms”.

  3. Love this! Using pipe cleaners for beading is such a great idea. Pinned to my letter O board. Thanks for linking up!

  4. stephanie says:

    So sweet! Thanks for sharing at After School!

  5. What a great idea. My 3 kids would love to do this!


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