Here are some great Thanksgiving crafts for kids you can incorporate into your Thanksgiving party. The crafts are most often for the children, but grown ups usually enjoy them just as much. Easy Thanksgiving crafts are perfect for getting the kids’ (and your) creative fluids bubbling (and gobbling.) You’ll find lots of cool craft ideas below.
Give each child two Oreo cookies. Open one Oreo. Use the half that has the filling as the base for the turkey to stand on (the other piece can be eaten.) Place the second Oreo on the filling standing upright. This’ll be the turkey body. Carefully place five candy corns into the filling on the upright Oreo. Now you’ve got the feathers. To finish off this quick and tasty turkey, place a Raisinette in front of the turkey body for the head. You can use these as decorations or let the kids gobble them right up.
Have the children paint their palms brown, as well as their thumb. Then let them paint each of their fingers a different bright color such red or blue. Have them press their hand onto a piece of white paper. Let them add the eyes, wattle, gobble, etc. You can even turn this into a card by writing: “This isn’t just a Turkey as anyone can see, I made it with my hand which is part of me. It comes with lots of love especially to say, I hope that you have a very happy Thanksgiving day!!”
Collect pinecones; add colorful feathers, wiggly eyes, and cut and bent pipe cleaners for the beak, wattle and feet. You can spray paint the pinecone with gold spray and also turn them into place card holders.
Paper Bag Turkeys
Give each child a brown paper grocery bag (any size) and several sheets of newspaper. Have the children crumple the sheets of newspaper and stuff them into their bags until the bags are half full. Twist the bags closed and tie them around the middle with pieces of yarn. To make tails for their paper bag turkeys, have the children make several cuts from the top edges of their bags down to the yarn ties. Let the children paint their turkey tails. Then give each child a precut turkey head shape to decorate. Attach the head shapes to the front of the bags to complete the turkeys. Instead of filling with newspapers, you can fill it with candy and give this turkey out as a favor.
Almost everyone knows how to make origami boats, either have them pre-made or print out instructions on how to fold a boat from paper (here’s a cool origami website with boat instructions). Then give the guests markers and little accessories to glue on thier Mayflower boats.
Collect and save lots of toilet or towel paper rolls. With hot glue, glue two together, and then take two small round pieces of clear or colored cellophane paper (that is bigger than the opening of each toilet or towel paper roll). Wrap a rubber band around each, to keep them secure to the roll. Give the kids all kinds of markers, paints, glue, glitter, stickers, etc. to decorate them and while they are looking in their telescopes, tell them the story of the first Thanksgiving. Have them imagine that they are Pilgrims finding land, and yell “Land Ho”!
The ‘Thank You’ Wreath
For this you’ll need round wooden wreath or foam base (which can be purchased at a craft store). Give each of your guests autumn colored construction paper (oranges, browns, greens, yellows, reds, etc.) and let them cut out different sized and colored leaves. On each leaf have them write things that they are thankful for. Once they are done creating their leaves, provide them with glue so that they can glue onto wreath base. Give them ribbons, bows, flowers, and all kinds of other things to decorate their ‘Thank You’ wreaths.
The ‘Thank You’ Tree
If you don’t want to deal with wreaths, you can cut out a large tree trunk from brown construction paper and tape this to the wall. Your guests can then cut out leaves, or better yet, trace their hands on construction paper and write things they are thankful for on them. Then tape these leaves and/or hands to the tree branches. In no time you will have a nice “Thank You’ tree.
Paper Plate Hand Turkeys
You’ll need one paper plate for each turkey. Have the kids place their hand in the center of the paper plate with fingers spread out so they are separated. Trace the hand with a pencil and cut out. The thumb is the head of the turkey and the fingers are its feathers. Let the kids use markers, crayons or colored pencils to color their turkey. Also, use leaves or acorns on the fingers for feathers and paste goofy eyes on the turkey.
Have pre-cut pumpkin shapes from orange construction paper. Give out different colored construction paper, and let your guests cut out different eyes, noses and mouth for their pumpkin and glue them onto their pumpkin shape. You can also purchase lots of mini pumpkins and let your guests decorate with brushes and paint.
Measure the length of a string or fishing line that you need to fit the necklace over the head (and don’t forget to leave enough for tying off). Thread a large needle and string popcorn and other items alternately (such as raisins, dried cranberries, pieces of orange peel, dried apple or apricot, etc.). After your guests wear their necklaces, you can hang them onto a tree or shrub for the local wildlife.
Indian Hopi Rattles
For this craft you will need paper plates, craft sticks, masking tape, stapler, glue, rice and/or beans, decorating materials such as markers, glitter, feathers, raffia, ribbons, construction and crepe paper, etc. To make these, start off with decorating the back parts of two paper plates. With masking tape, tape strongly the craft sticks to the right side of one plate (this is the handle). Flip the plate and put a pretty large handful of rice and or/ beans onto the inside of the plate. Take the second plate and fit it over the first – so that both of their insides are facing each other. Then tape around the whole outer edge so that no rice and/or beans leak out. Try putting extra tape around where the handle sticks out so that it’s secure. Then staple the taped edges of the plates all around the edge. You can add decorations to the stick as well. This can be an instrument, which can encourage rhythmic beats for dancing.
Native American Ceremonial Masks
Cut out two holes for the eyes, one for the nose and one of the mouth for each person. They can then decorate as they wish with feathers, sequins, as a sun with triangles all around, as a moon, etc. Tape on a craft stick to one side so that they can hold it up to their faces.
Native American Headbands
Have your guests cut paper strips to make a headband or have these pre-made. Provide them with feathers, glitter, sequins or other materials to decorate the headband and then staple or tape the headband together measuring each person’s head.
Indian Dream Catchers
Hand out paper plates and have your guests cut out the center of their paper plates and punch holes all around the inside perimeter. Then have them paint both sides of the plate. After the paint dries, let them weave yarn in and out of the holes until a web is created. Afterwards, punch three holes at the bottom of the plate and place a piece of yarn through each hole, taping the ends together with masking tape. Using the taped end let your guests thread small beads onto the yarn and then slide a feather underneath the beads. This creates a tight fit so the beads won’t fall off. To hang them up, punch a hole at the top and create a loop with yarn.
Native American Vest
For this activity you will need big brown paper bags (like the ones you may get at your local supermarkets), scissors, and decorating materials. Take each brown paper bag, cut a small circle from the bottom of the paper bag (for the neck) and two more small holes on the sides as the armholes. Then choose a front of the vest and cut from bottom to top of the neck hole a slit. Provide with all kinds of decorating materials: markers, paints, glitter, construction paper, cut-out arrows, suns, native American designs, etc, and have them glue these on to their vests.