The holidays bring family together and help us create lasting memories. But with family in town, preparing a big meal, and the unexpected surprises that inevitably arise, it isn't always smooth sailing, especially when the kids get underfoot. If you are looking for ways to entertain your kids in the days leading up to and on Thanksgiving, here are a few fun DIY crafts for Thanksgiving everyone is sure to enjoy.
Kick off Thanksgiving week by taking some time to create a gratitude wreath with your kiddos. It’s super easy and a great way to talk about the meaning of Thanksgiving. All you need is a paper plate and some construction paper. Have the children trace their hands on different colored construction paper and cut them out. Next, have the kids write things they are thankful for on the cut outs. Cut out the middle of a paper plate, and then glue the hands to the plate. Hang the wreath on the door or in another area of the home.
Start by finding two maple leaves in slightly different sizes. Glue the smaller one of the larger one. Cut out a beak and wattle from construction paper (you can also use tissues paper) and glue those to the leaf. Attach big googly eyes just above the beak, and tweak the stems a little to look like feet.
For this fun Thanksgiving kids’ craft, you can use a plastic bowling set or paint plastic soda bottles. Buy a pack of feathers, and tape 3 or 4 feathers to the back of each pin. For the turkey faces, you can either buy foam shapes or cut out eyes, a beak, and a wattle from construction paper. Glue the face to the front of the pin. Line up the pins and enjoy a little turkey bowling while waiting for dinner.
This is a great activity for the whole family. If you are having extended family over for Thanksgiving, consider including everyone in this craft. Everyone in the family will trace their hand on a piece of while cardstock. The kids can cut all the hands out and color them to look like turkeys. Glue the turkey hands to craft paper or wrapping paper (enough to fill a picture frame), and fix the paper with the turkeys in the frame. Put it on display each year.
Start by trimming the top of a brown paper bag. Fold it down to double the thickness of the bag. Cut colorful feathers out and glue to the back of the bag—the more you add the better. For the face, you can either cut out a turkey face, or fold a paper plate into thirds and glue it to the bag. Fold the top of the paper plate down and attach googly eyes, a beak, and a wattle.
These are not only super cute, but they are great cheap centerpieces you can use to decorate the Thanksgiving table. Start by painting a paper cup brown and letting it dry. Next, glue a brown pom-pom to the top of the cup. While the glue is drying, cut out feathers from colored construction paper as well as a beak, the wattle (the hanging part under the beak), and feet. Glue the feathers to the feathers, as well as googly eyes and the beak, wattle, feet. Let the glue dry and viola! Make as many as you like to turn your home into Thanksgiving central.
Get a big piece of white butcher paper and draw or paint a leafless tree on it. Then fix it to the wall. Lay out construction paper in autumn colors, leaf templates (if you do not have leaf templates, try just drawing a few to get the kids started), scissors and markers or crayons. Have the kids write things they are thankful for on the leaves and then cut them out and tape or glue them to the tree. This is a great way to keep kids engaged throughout the day while adults are cooking, cleaning, or just relaxing, and it encourages them to think about things they are grateful for.
If your Thanksgiving dinner will involve a kids’ table, spend some time in the days leading up Thanksgiving making Thanksgiving crafts to decorate it. One favorite is this simple idea for a cool centerpiece. You will need sticks from 14-18 inches, depending on how high you want this centerpiece to be, paint, paper bags, white or cream paper, colored pencils, glue, tall glasses, and lentils. You can also use different colored construction paper instead of paper bags. Start by painting the sticks and letting them dry. While waiting for them to dry, cut 5 inch circles from the brown paper bag (or colored construction paper) and 3.5 inch circles from the white paper. Decide what you want to spell out, like Thanksgiving, Give Thanks, or Happy Turkey Day, and on the white paper, write letters corresponding to your message. Glue the white circles to the brown or colored ones, then glue the circles to the sticks. Fill each glass with enough lentils to hold the sticks in place, and place the sticks in the glasses and arrange the letters accordingly.
Help your children create fun and creative decorations for their table that will also keep them entertained while everyone else is eating. For this project, you will need black cups, black cardstock, brown construction paper, and yellow construction paper. Cut out the bottom of the black cup. Cut a circle in the black cardstock that is a little larger than the rim of the black cup and glue the rip of the cup to the paper. Cut out a strip of brown paper as well as a square from the yellow paper that will be the buckle. Glue the yellow to the brown and secure the whole strip to the bottom of the cup. Put crayons or other craft supplies in the cup, leave colored construction paper and scissors at the table, along with anything else they will need. It is also a good idea to cover the whole table in crafty paper to make clean up easier.
1. Turkey Cups
These are incredibly easy, look great on the table, and can be used to hold all kinds of treats on Thanksgiving. First, you will need some clear cups (we recommend the shorter, wider cups often used for wine, but any clear cups will work). Then, grab some colored construction paper and cut out plenty of feathers as well as brown circles for the turkey’s face and beaks and wattles. Glue the feathers to the back of the cup (five seems to be the ideal number, but again, up to you). Glue the googly eyes to the brown circle along with the beaks and wattles. Then glue the face to the front of the cup. Fill the cups with whatever you want. We like to do chocolates, but they can be used to snacks, drinks, or even holding crayons.