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20+ Easy Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities for Kids
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- Amy Mikler
- Cut off the bottom of a cup. Cut two slits with the tip of your scissors at the center edge of the cup. Place the cup, bottom side up, into the center of a cup holder.
- Cut 2 paper rectangles per boat to make sails. Cut 2 tiny slits at the center of each sail at the top and bottom. Push stirrers through the slits.
- Add a paper flag to the top of each mast. Push the sticks into the slits in the cup.
- Amy Mikler
- Paint a paper cup brown. Turn the cup upside down and glue a pom-pom to the top of the cup for the head.
- Cut nine 4-inch leaf shapes from different colors of construction paper. Fold a 1-inch-square piece of orange construction paper in half; cut a triangle shape out of the folded paper for the beak. Using a 2-inch square of red paper folded in half, cut a heart shape to create the turkey's wattle.
- Glue the beak and wattle to the pom-pom. Add googly eyes. Glue on the “feathers.”
- Remove the top ring of a paper cup. Punch 2 holes in the top of the ring and 1 hole in the bottom center. Paint the ring.
- Cut a 20-inch piece of cord. String 1 bead on each end. Make a loop and place one end through each top hole. String a few wooden beads onto the cord, creating a “Y” shape. Push 2 cords through the center hole. Add a single bead to keep in place.
- Attach a feather and bead to each end of the cord to finish.
Darlin' Dixie Garland
- Cut apart a Dixie cup so it lies flat to create a template. Trace it onto decorative paper, adding an extra 1/2 inch on one end, and cut out 7 shapes (adults should handle this part).
- Place a strip of double-sided tape on one end of each paper. Wrap paper around each of 7 cups and attach with tape. Now cut out letters that spell “Welcome.” Glue a letter to the front of each cup.
- Using a utility knife, cut an X in the center of each cup bottom. Push 1 light into the bottom of each cup and hang in an entryway to welcome your holiday guests.
Cup on the Cob
- Cut an oval corncob shape slightly larger than the paper cup out of yellow construction paper. With crayons, draw kernels on the paper. Glue to the front of the cup.
- Cut a piece of crepe paper, 11 inches high by 12 inches long (this may vary depending on size of cup). Glue the crepe paper around the cup to create the corn husk. Crinkle and gather the paper at the top as you glue around the cup.
- Fill a snack bag with popcorn and place inside the cup. Gather the top of the crepe paper and tie with a piece of raffia.
- Michael Kraus
Fun Idea: Thankful String
- With a felt needle, string 2-cm felt balls ($10 for two needles, $20 for 60 balls; handbehgfelts.etsy.com) onto a thin 30-inch hemp cord; tie a knot at each end.
- Trim shaft ends of five feathers to be 1 inch.
- String two wooden beads onto each shaft.
- Place a 6-inch piece of braided cording against feather shaft (below beads), then secure to shaft by wrapping with hemp cord; tie off securely. Repeat with remaining feathers.
- Have everyone write what they're most thankful for on a small piece of paper; punch holes in papers and thread onto cording.
- Tie each feather between two felt beads on string; trim excess cording.
- Hang string between tepees.
Thankful String alternative: Create a paper chain and write what you're thankful for on each of the links.
- Michael Kraus
Cover the table with kraft paper. Under the centerpiece, provide craft supplies: string and beads to make necklaces (beads can be a choking hazard for kids under 3), stamps and stamp pads, colored pencils, crayons, foam shapes and stickers.
Feather Place Mats
- Trace the largest plate you'll be using on pieces of scrapbook paper. Cut out circles.
- Glue feathers along edges, leaving paper centers blank (they'll be covered by the plates).
Fun Idea: Hunt for Turkey Feathers
Buy a bunch of colorful feathers at a crafts store and hide them around the yard or house, then do a T-Day version of an Easter-egg hunt. Kids can use the feathers they collect to design a Native American headdress.
- Wendell T. Webber
Fun Idea: Mini Maracas Nature Craft
- Cut out a section (top and bottom) of an egg carton and fill one side with dried beans.
- Glue the sides together, with an ice-pop stick coming out of the middle.
- Paint with orange paint, let dry and push a green pipe cleaner into the top as a stem; slip on a green construction-paper "leaf" and bend pipe cleaner over in a loop.
Fun Idea: Appreciate Your Guests
Make place cards for everyone who will be attending your feast. Then ask your child to think of one reason she's thankful for each person and write it on the back. Guests can read them aloud!
- Wendell T. Webber
Fun Idea: Easy Nature Notecards Craft for Kids
- Scout the backyard for a round or oval leaf.
- Lightly paint one side with orange poster paint. Press onto the bottom half of a sheet of construction paper, then carefully remove.
- With a small paintbrush add a stem. Let dry. Fold paper in half, and use as notepaper.
Fun Idea: Work Up an Appetite
Most towns have some kind of Turkey Trot, a short race held on Thanksgiving morning. Get the whole family involved: Push little ones in strollers and let bigger kids run/walk/skip/ hop their way to the finish.
Fun Idea: Let Your Kid Cater
A simple appetizer that kids can make: Wrap the top halves of thin breadsticks with prosciutto. Arrange 12 on a plate and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Call them "Silly Sticks" and let your chef pass them around.
After turkey day, try our "Thanksgiving Week of Leftover Dinners."
Fun Idea: Make Your Own Mats
The weekend before (or anytime really!), have your kids create collages of all the things they're thankful for on sheets of construction paper. Laminate their masterpieces at a copy store and use them as place mats.
Fun Idea: Be Corny
Have a cornhusking contest! Hand the kids five ears of corn each (give tiny guys fewer to make it fair) and see who can finish first. Don't tell them they're helping you get some of your dinner prep work done!
Fun idea: Go Classic
Hand turkeys are an oldie but goodie. Tell everyone in the family to trace one of their hands and color in their gobbler. Pine-cone bird feeders slathered with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed are always a hit, too. Use string to tie them in a tree. Next up: touch football.
Fun Idea: Cool Painted Pumpkin Designs
- Press stick-on dots (or cut shapes out of masking tape) onto a pumpkin in any pattern you like.
- Paint the entire surface with black acrylic paint. Let dry.
- Carefully remove the tape, and behold your graphic art!
Fun Idea: Easy Turkey Pinecone Craft for Kids
- Cut a small diamond out of yellow construction paper and fold in half to create the beak.
- Cut a wattle (rectangle with a heart shape at one end) out of red construction paper.
- Glue beak, wattle and google eyes to pinecone.
- Twist dark pipe cleaner around pinecone base and poke into orange.
- Glue fall leaves to opposite side of orange to create tail feathers. (Or trace your child's hand on two different color sheets of construction paper. Cut out and glue them together, overlapping.)
- Glue two acorn caps to bottom for feet.