With a little over a week to go, why not help your little ones get into the Thanksgiving spirit with these fun arts and crafts activities? The below activities are suitable for toddlers to school-age children, but the assistance of a guardian may be necessary for some crafts.
Don’t forget to check out our blog for more fun holiday themed winter activities and crafts too!
Thankful Tree Centerpiece
Thanksgiving is a holiday about expressing gratitude, which can be a difficult concept to teach your little ones. Constructing a thankful tree or a family thankful jar can serve as a teaching exercise for children and double as a festive centerpiece for your table. Materials that you’ll need include colored construction paper, pencils or crayons, adult and child-size scissors, glue or tape, 2 to 3 bare branches, and a tall vase.
Using a pencil or crayon, help your child draw leaf shapes onto their construction paper. We suggest using 25 to 36 leaves to fill the branches. After your child has drawn their leaves, use scissors to cut around the drawn shapes. Once all the leaves have been cut out, talk with your children about what they’re thankful for, and write it onto the leaves. If your child is old enough, they can write it on by themselves. If not, they can draw a picture or you can write it with them.
After the meal, invite your family and friends to read and reflect on the notes.
Turkey Footprint and Other Handprint Crafts
There are a number of handprint crafts that your child can do to get into the Thanksgiving spirit! They range from creating Pilgrim Turkeys, Thanksgiving Trees to Leaf Handprints. One of our favorite crafts activities is this Footprint Turkey that can also double as a forever keepsake. Supplies needed include paper plates, paints, washable markers, paintbrushes, and your child’s foot, provided that it fits onto the plate. Crayola Finger Paint is non-toxic and can be cleaned off by using baby wipes.
The first step in the process is to paint your child’s foot with brown paint and press it down on the center of the plate. While you’re waiting for the plate to dry, clean off your child’s foot. Once the paint has dried, have your child use a washable marker to draw on a feather. After your child has drawn the feathers, paint. After the paint has dried, paint on the turkey’s facial features, feet and other identifying details as you’d like.
At the end, have your toddler write their name, age and year next to their turkey footprint. If they are too young to be able to write it, you can add it on for them.
Thanksgiving Paper Plate Turkey Hat Craft
Not only is this turkey hat fun to make, it’s easy to create! You will need the following supplies, all of which can be purchased at your local crafts store. They are as follows: 1 white paper plate, brown paint, colored construction paper, 4 googly eyes, scissors, craft or school glue, and a ribbon.
To get started, cut your paper plate in half, straight down the middle. Paint the raised side completely brown, and allow about 30-minutes to dry. This will serve as the base of the hat. While the hat is drying, cut out your turkey feathers. We suggest 10 feathers total, five for each hat. Make sure to save the paper scraps because you will need it for the next step!
Next, flip the hat over and glue on the googly eyes. This is where the paper scraps come in handy! Cut out a triangle shape for the turkey’s beak and a weird squiggly shape for the wattle, which is the fleshy growth under the turkey’s throat. Glue them below the eyes.
Finally, punch or cut holes in each side and tie two pieces of ribbon on each, making sure each side is long enough to tie a bow with. After completion, tie onto the back of your child’s head!
For an additional thanksgiving hat guide, visit Parents.com.
Turkey Trivia Cards
These Thanksgiving crafts are the easiest of them all! For free printables with trivia questions and decorations, visit Craftholics Anonymous. There, you can download, print, and trim your own version of popular Thanksgiving trivia cards. Additional trivia options can be found here. For another card game, here is a link to a printable Thanksgiving Bingo game.