Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts For Family Fun

Filed under: Holidays, Kids' Games, Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Activities: Big Kids, Activities: Tweens, Activities: Teens, Activities: Family Time

Thanksgiving is a time for families to express gratitude for the good things in their lives, so why not use arts and crafts to help communicate that message?

Move beyond the trace-your-hand turkeys with ideas like the Thanksgiving Tree from Preschool Education. To create the tree's base, you insert a tree branch into plaster of paris. Next, using construction paper, make red, yellow, and orange autumn leaves. Throughout the month, ask your child to write things he or she is thankful to have onto the leaves. Hang them on the tree. Once Thanksgiving arrives, you will have a beautiful symbol of gratitude for your family. The tree doesn't have to be a holiday-only craft. -- you and your family can use the tree to give thanks at any time of the year.

Preschool Education also has Stained Glass Turkeys that kids can create. Kids attach red, brown and orange tissue paper to the birds' paper-plate bodies to create beaks, feet and feathers.

Another fun craft is Fingerprint Turkeys from DLTK. Place brown, red and orange paint in separate containers and give your child a piece of paper. Have your child place her thumb in the brown paint to make the turkey's body. If her thumb isn't big enough, use a paintbrush to draw a large, oval body for your turkey. Once the body has been created, have your child dip her index finger in orange paint. Place a finger print around the turkey body to create feathers. Repeat with the red paint. Once the paint dries, use a black marker to add in details like a beak, eyes and feet.

Your child might be too young to cook, but get her involved in Thanksgiving preparations by making tabletop decorations. Make a Mayflower centerpiece from Disney Family Fun for the dinner table with a milk carton, a paper bag, skewers and white paper. Tape the empty, clean milk carton shut. Then parents should cut a hole in the side of the carton. Next, kids can glue strips of paper, cut from the paper bag, to the carton to create the ship. Place skewers with flags cut from white paper in the boat. Gluing items to the bottom of the carton that you can stab the skewers into should help your flags stick. Once the boat has been created, your family can write the things they are thankful for on slips of paper and place them in the milk carton.

Corn Candles
from Moms Today are another great addition to your Thanksgiving table. To make these candles purchase several 4- to 5-inch candles in various colors. Help your child find ornamental corn cob kernels or other small items to decorate the candles. Glue the ornamental corn cob kernels to the candles.

Read more ParentDish coverage of Holidays and Fun & Activities to get you through the holidays.

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