Be Thankful for Thanksgiving Crafts That Keep Kids Out of the Kitchen

Filed under: Holidays, Activities: Family Time

On Thanksgiving Day, there are either too many or not enough cooks in the kitchen. That makes it a good day to un-invite your favorite pint-sized chefs so that they don't get underfoot, or worse, hurt.

But even if they can't help carve the turkey, kids still want to be a part of the Thanksgiving celebration. Since you really don't have time to decorate anyway, why not put them to the task of putting a little color on and around your table this year? Set up a craft before company arrives, and invite all of your young guests to take part.

Here are some suggestions that are sure to keep little hands safely busy while you get your feast on the table:

Kids Under 7:

You've got a gaggle of little ones, but not enough hands for proper craft-time supervision. No problem! These crafts are not only fun, they can be done without scissors or anything more dangerous than a glue stick.

  • There'll be nothing but gobblin' going on at the kids' table when everyone's sporting these cute turkey hats.
  • The youngest guests can lace Fruit Loops onto strings, while older kids can use a plastic needle to make these adorable harvest necklaces.
  • Think even glue sticks are too dangerous? Then print out these Thanksgiving place mats for your young guests to color before you set the table.
  • If little ones seem just too young for an organized craft, then don't organize it. Instead, put simple, every day fall objects -- such as leaves, sticks, dried corn, fall blossoms, or even just strips of brown, orange, yellow, and red construction paper -- out onto a small table with a few glue sticks and have at it. Toddlers and young preschoolers love to create, and before you know it you'll have beautiful collages you can use for decorating.

Kids Over 7:

  • Remember how Uncle Pete and Grandpa couldn't stop bickering last year? Keep them at opposite ends of the table with these amusing apple place cards.
  • Everyone will be looking forward to dessert -- and not just for the pumpkin pie -- when they see these Rice Krispie turkeys. Make the body of the turkey up ahead of time, then let kids decorate.

Older kids:

Tweens and teens make great helpers, but might also enjoy a project that's a little more challenging:

  • Dig out all of your mismatched gloves and let kids create some cute gobbler centerpieces with them.
  • Sure, they'll say they're too old to play with dolls, but these corn husk dolls are both fun to make and far more sophisticated than your everyday baby doll.
How do you keep your kids busy while they're waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to be served?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.