Speech Buddies Parents’ Corner – Thanksgiving Crafts to Make with the Kids
Somewhere along the way it became November and Thanksgiving is almost here. These Thanksgiving crafts not only help your little ones get into the holiday spirit, but they are easy ways to help prepare for the holiday, too, even producing appetizers, table setting options, and decorations.
5 Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities for the Kids
1. Crafts and Appetizers Collide – My kids love to help get ready for the holidays, and they love a sweet treat, so these first ideas are their favorite kinds of crafts to make – edible! Both of these treats below can serve triple duty and be name cards at the dinner table by adding tags with guests’ names.
- Cut a 7″x7″ square of white or cream netting and place a handful of Reese’s Pieces in the center. Wrap them up as shown and tie with a small ribbon. Poke colored pipe cleaners through and bend for shapes of legs and head, then finish off with googly eyes. Another option is to take Glue Dots and just tack a turkey face to the outside of the bag (avoid regular glue so it doesn’t go through the netting and onto the candy).
- Take clear plastic cups (the mini kind) and have your kids make and glue feathers to one side and a turkey face to the opposite side. Fill with whoppers or a dark chocolate and add to everyone’s place setting.
2. Thanksgiving Letter – Are your kids anxious to prepare their letters to Santa? Set the tone for the holiday season by writing a family Thanksgiving Letter, where instead of making a wish list, you all work together to compile a list of things you can do for others throughout the year. Keep it on the fridge or on a bulletin board so it can keep inspiring you throughout the year. Have the non-writers make pictures to go with the letter so they feel like they are a part of the process, or print some of these coloring pages and make an entire booklet for the family.
3. Jar of Thanks – Take a clean mason jar – either pint or quart will work – and decoupage scraps of colored tissue paper over the outside. If it’s been a few years since this elementary craft for you, here is an easy decoupage (Mod Podge) recipe from Square Pennies. I like to use yellow, orange, and red tissue paper squares that are about 1″-2″ wide. This is a great activity to recycle those slightly crumpled or torn sheets hiding with your gift-wrapping supplies.
- Once the jar has dried, take letter stickers and apply the word “Thankful”, or another phrase or word of your choosing, to the outside.
- Cut strips of paper (white or colored) and keep them with a pencil next to the jar.
- Invite everyone in the family to write down as many things as they can think of on the strips of paper for which they are thankful (we ask the kids to write 3 each), and then fold them and add them to the Jar of Thanks.
- On Thanksgiving take out the strips and read them aloud (they can be anonymous) before your meal.
4. Handprints Galore – Handprints, either traced on colored paper or stamped with washable paint, are great for a variety of Thanksgiving crafts.
- Stamp handprints of the kids on burlap and when they dry, cut and add them to frames to use as decoration or gifts for the grandparents.
- Use the fingers fan to out for the feathers of a turkey, the thumb is the neck and head, and the palm is the body (add googly eyes for effect!).
- Cut out 8-12 handprints and glue them overlapping to create a festive holiday wreath
- Make a turkey from the handprint and on each feather have your child write something for which he is thankful, and then add this cute poem:
This isn’t just any turkey,
As anyone can see.
I made it with my hand,
which is a part of me.
It comes with lots of love,
Especially to say.
I hope you have a very
Happy Thanksgiving Day !!!!
5. Homemade Cloth Napkins and Rings – Take squares of cotton fabrics and teach your child how to use the sewing machine. My kids all learned how to use the machine by sewing zig-zag edges for the simple, single layer napkins that are great additions to the Thanksgiving table setting. I’m already doing laundry for 6, so a few cloth napkins won’t make a difference in my basket but help remind the kids to be thankful for reusing and recycling.
We also enjoy making festive napkin rings to go with the cloth napkins, and some of our favorite resources for Thanksgiving include
- Turkey ring from felt
- Beaded napkin rings that are great for older kids to make
- Button napkin rings – we use stretchy necklace string for kids and random buttons from thrift stores and the craft box
The house might look more eclectic than chic, but these Thanksgiving crafts are about making more than artwork. This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for the energy my kids require me to have so we can make memories together with crafts and activities like these. Be sure to also check out our activities and games for the kids to play while you’re putting the finishing touches on the Thanksgiving meal.