Friday, April 11, 2014

Paper Plate Flying Eagle

Have you been following the Raptor Resource Center in Decorah, IA? Their bird cams have my sons enthralled. My 8-year-old has always loved birds of prey. 

We watched two eagle parents steadfastly perch on three eggs in -40 degree temps this winter and we waited nervously this spring to see if any of the three eggs would even hatch. Lo and behold, ALL of them hatched (way to go, Mama and Papa Eagle!!). The eaglets are positively "adorable," as my oldest son would say in a sing-song voice.

With his interest already sparked, I knew getting buy-in to create our own flying eagles wouldn't be tough.

Supply list for each eagle:
1 paper plate
1 marble
2 plastic spoons
masking tape
rubber band
paint (optional)

How It's Made
Cut the paper plate in half (I bent ours to know where to cut). Cut one of the halves into three equal wedges (like pizza slices). Decorate the half circle to look like an eagle's brown feathers with paint and/or markers. Keep the wedge piece white since an adult eagle has white tail feathers, and tape the pointy end to the back of the half circle.

Now sandwich a marble between the bowls of two spoons and wrap the rubber band around the neck of the spoons to hold them together. Decorate the top of one of the spoons to look like an eagle's face (i.e. draw a triangle on the tip for a beak and two eyes). Now tape the spoons to the back of the eagle, so the rubberband and spoon bowl face stick out. Be liberal with the tape.

How to Make it Fly
Hold the eagle with your index and thumb around the neck of the bird and throw it gently forward like a paper airplane. It may take a few tries to figure out the right amount of force to get your eagle to glide gracefully.

My son was throwing his eagle pretty hard which caused it to loopty-loop and nose dive. Upon a few roof landings, the marble released from the spoons and had to be reinserted.

When we'd finished making our eagles (yes, I made one too), my son insisted that we make a fledgling, so the eagle mom and dad would have a son just like the Raptor Resource Center eagle family we've been following. We cut the paper plate a little smaller and was happy to see that it still flew just as well.

My son named our eagles Kevin, Debbie, and Thunder (the baby). I love the names he chose. To learn more about eagles, we read two great non-fiction books.

This craft came from a great book filled with kids crafts.


  1. Ahhhh, so in love with this! The fact that this actually glides in the air is the coolest thing ever! :)

  2. Was looking for an Eagle project and found this. Thank you!!!!