Easy Thanksgiving Crafts For Kids

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Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family and eat a delicious meal, but for kids it's also a time of learning. They can discover the history of the United States, and why we celebrate Thanksgiving through the use of games and crafts. Learning more about the various foods served at a traditional Thanksgiving meal is also a fun way to get them engaged. Since kids love to be active and doing things, it's a great way to harness their natural energy into a productive and fun activity at this time of the year. Plus, with all you have to do to prepare for the holiday, isn't it nice to know they will be doing something creative and engaging their minds as well?

Crafts For Thanksgiving Meal Tables

  • Turkey Place Cards: Thanksgiving meal is a big event, so allowing kids to be involved in the preparation and meal planning will be meaningful for them. With this craft, it will also be useful for you. You’ll need blank place cards, nontoxic ink pads in browns and yellows, and markers. Have your kids press their hands onto the ink pads, then simply press them onto the place cards in the shape of a turkey (round body, head and feathers formed by the palm and fingers). It's simple to do, fun and comes out very festive. Simply add the guests’ names once the ink has dried and you are ready to serve.
  • Button Indian Corn Napkin Rings: For this table décor kids craft, you’ll need felt, 12 popsicle sticks per napkin ring, tacky glue, a small paintbrush and buttons of assorted fall colors (available at craft stores), that go with your napkin color. For each ring, cut a 4 by 5 ½ inch piece of felt. Starting at one short end of the rectangle, glue on 12 Popsicle sticks using the paintbrush, lining them up side by side. You should have a bit of uncovered felt at the end. When the sticks dry, glue the felt into a ring, attaching the uncovered felt ends together. Now glue on rows of buttons in whatever colors the kids want. Let the glue dry and place the rings around your napkins for a fun and festive look to your table
Ready for Planting Finished Product


Thanksgiving Crafts for Fun

  • Make Your Own Hat Station: For this dress up craft, you’ll need a jar lid, pencil, construction paper in fall colors, glue stick, black paper cups (which will serve as the hat's foundation), thumbtack, toothpick and round elastic cords. For a pilgrim hat, simply cut out a brown strip of construction paper and glue around the lip of the black cup. Then cut the hat’s traditional buckle out from another color construction paper, typically yellow or white, and glue onto the brown strip. For a turkey head, trace out shapes of feathers and glue onto the back of the cup, forming the fan of a turkey’s feathers. To create a chinstrap, use a thumbtack (adults’ job) to poke two holes on either side of the cup, near the lip. Widen the holes with a toothpick then thread a 20-inch piece of the round elastic cord through the holes and knot at the ends. Wear during the meal to make it more fun and festive!
  • Paper Native American Vest: To make a simple “leather” vest for your kids to wear just like traditional Native Americans, all you’ll need is a brown paper bag, colored construction paper, scissors and glue. To age the paper bag and give it a more realistic feel, repeatedly crumple and unfold the bag until it feels soft. Cut a large hole in the bottom of the bag, as well as  both narrow ends. The large hole will allow the bag to be placed over your child’s head, while their arms will stick through each small hole on the end. Cut a line down the front of the bag, from the large hole to the opposite edge, creating the vest’s opening. Use the colored construction paper to create fun Thanksgiving patches to place on the vest, or make fringe as a trim.

Thanksgiving Crafts with Food

  • Popcorn Necklaces: Make this classic DIY décor piece to wear as edible jewelry throughout the night. All you need is popcorn and string, but you can add macaroni, beads or cranberries. You’ll need strong, thin string that will pierce the popcorn, or else thread a needle with embroidery thread. Push the needle through each piece of popcorn (again, best done by an adult) and add other items as you want. Leave a few inches at the end to then tie once the necklace is long enough. Be sure you make the string long enough to get over the head of the child or your head if it's a gift. If you stick to popcorn it's fun for the kids to eat their creation, and keep them from asking for snacks before the big meal.

Thanksgiving can be a fun time for kids to get involved with the holiday in unique ways. They can contribute to the festive table, or else create hats to wear during the meal (adults can, too).

Last Updated: November 17, 2011
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About Leah Gillis Leah Gillis has worked for several major news outlets, as well as a television series on home buying and decor. Having grown up in New England, she has lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Milan. When not trying to get a great deal, she is often found reading something, writing something or talking to someone.

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