Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Crafts for the Kids

One of things I remember most about my childhood, was the really neat stuff we used to make in elementary school around any holiday.  Thanksgiving was always fun, because I remember my teacher telling us the story of the first Thanksgiving, and then giving us projects to make and take
home.  Back then (now the Dark Ages) we had those jars of paste.......have to admit, I tasted it more than once, and one of my biggest thrills in life was getting a new box of crayons. 

Today, kids have so many choices when it comes to crafts.  I am astounded when I'm in an arts and crafts store and cruise the could spend a small fortune just impulse buying supplies.  That's why I decided to write this post.  It doesn't have to be expensive........just fun.  The materials can be basic, and for some you can take a walk through your neighborhood to find.

What's most important is giving your child a variety of materials to work with, talking through some ideas with them, and then helping when they need it......the best part of this, is the time you've spent with them........that's what they'll remember!

Materials You Might Need (keep in mind you may use some or all depending on what project(s) you'll be working on):
Glue / Paste
Construction Paper
Leaves from your yard
Tempera Paint (it's water based so washes off easily)
Felt Tip Pin (maybe)
Paper Plates
Pine Cones (put these in a paper bag and microwave for 30-45 seconds to kill any bugs that might be hiding in them!)
Nuts in their shells
Tissue Paper
Glitter (oh this makes it fun!)
Scissors (be sure to choose what's appropriate for your child)
Stapler (maybe)
Fabric scraps
Dried Beans or Pasta
Toilet Paper & Paper Towels Tubes 
Construction paper turkey  
Depending on their age, they may be able to do this on their own.  It helps it you make one first, so they have a pattern to follow.  You could substitute the construction paper tail feathers with leaves from your yard, or even feathers if you have some on hand too!

Footprint Turkey
I loved this turkey!  All you need is a piece of construction paper bigger than your child's foot, tempera paint, and fabric scraps (although let your imagination run wild for the tail "feathers").  What an adorable little keepsake.  And wouldn't it be fun if everyone in the family did this!

 Hand print Turkey
Another adorable keepsake creation using your child's hand as the turkey.  They get to draw the legs, eye, beaks, and that flappy thing on top of the turkey's head, and then have them sign it.  Let them choose the color of the tempera paint!  This would make a great welcome sign if you're having guests over, or even a wonderful personalized gift for family members who may not be able to be with you.  Regardless, these are those priceless treasures you'll pull out 20-years from now and remember the time you spent making this with them......and trust will be one of their treasures when they're grown up too!

Toilet Paper Tube Family
This would make an adorable project and you could include all the members of your family! You cover the toilet paper tubes with construction paper, draw on the features of the face, and as you can see, cut out a few extra details to make your Thanksgiving family complete!  Your kids will love telling everyone who's who in the group!

Here's a variation of the Thanksgiving family idea.  Using construction paper cutouts, create the members of your family and glue them to construction paper.  Label each person's name, and this will no doubt bring lots of laughter as you admire the artwork.

Edible crafts!  Oh yum!  You know the kids of all ages will love making any of
these!  So pick your "poison" or "passion" and create away with wild abandon!  obviously some of these are a little more healthful than others, but the point is, stimulate your child's creativity, let them prove to themselves they can be creative, and then enjoy the results!


Who doesn't love gumdrops!  You'll need large and small ones, some toothpicks, and the creative spirit!



Apples, Grapes, Popcorn &  Pretzels!  
(Hint--the grapes and popcorn are secured with toothpicks.)

 The Turkey Cookies are always a hit, and actually pretty easy to make.  Everything is "glued" together with gel icing!  You'll need Oreo Cookies, Candy Corn, Whoppers, Miniature Reece's Cups & Gel Icing.

Hand Wreath
What I love about this is the personal touch.  If it were me making this, I'd be tracing everybody's hands, and cutting them out to make this wreath.  I mean, after all, Thanksgiving is all about celebrating with your family, so why not!  Besides, having different sizes of hands would make it really interesting.  And, as I was looking at this, I thought, it's great for a door, but also how about putting a candle in the center on your table!  Wouldn't that be awesome.  Throw in a little glitter....this would make a great centerpiece!

Here's an precious idea......create a little memory book.  The one thing I realized after my children were grown, is I had forgotten their tiny little voices, a lot of the cute things they said, and what they thought about things.  That is until I started converting my old movie tapes to DVD's, and going through their creations they made when they were little.  This is a great way to create a remembrance of this year, to be treasured and "oooed & awed" over when their all grown up.  To make the book, fold one sheet of construction paper in half, punch holes on the folded side, then cut pages to fit and punch those with holes.  Secure the pages with ribbon or twine, and let your children decorate the front in whatever way they want, and then fill the pages with things they are grateful for, or funny stories they like to talk about.  Whatever they decide to fill their book with, it will surely be a treasure!

Pine Cone Turkeys
If you live in an area with pine trees, then this is the time of year to gather them up.  And, you know they come in every size imaginable.  Just be sure to either bake them in your oven, or put them in a microwave to make sure you didn't bring any uninvited guests in with them!  You can see here  you can use your child's hand cut out of construction paper for the tail feathers, or simple strips of paper, and again.....let your imagination run wild.  There's no right or wrong way to create your turkey!  These would be cute scattered around the dining table, and would certainly start some interesting conversations!

Do you honestly know any child that doesn't love to put on a headpiece?  This is a cute example of a headband with a turkey "motif", although the traditional headband is usually the Indian design with one feather.  It's so easy to do too!  Just measure around your child's head and cut your paper a couple inches longer.  I'd advise using a staple to secure the two ends.  Before you staple it though, make sure your child is finished decorating it however they want it to look.
Just have fun......
it's the time you spend with 
your children that matters most!