Give Your Hand Turkey Some Cute Buddies With These Thanksgiving Crafts
These kid-friendly crafts for Thanksgiving will keep little hands busy and occupied until it's time to eat.
Margo Gothelf and Sarah Burns
Happy Thanksgiving! Before you sit down to stuff your face full of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and so much more, have the kids spend some time making some turkey day crafts. Gobble up these ideas for table decorations or set materials out in the morning for some kid-friendly entertainment before the big feast. Just remember to wash all the glue and glitter off their hands before they devour that turkey leg!
Paper Bag Turkey Craft
This Thanksgiving, we're thankful for brown paper bags — perhaps the most versatile crafting material known to humankind (other than egg cartons and toilet paper rolls). This simple turkey paper bag craft is a set-and-forget Thanksgiving project that will keep kids occupied and out of the kitchen. Just leave materials on the table for everyone to make their own turkey full of feathers. And we mean everyone — this basic craft is so easy to put together, everyone, even the littlest ones at the kid's table, can get involved.
Colorful Chalk Pastel Turkey
Some art projects are worth getting a little messy for. Case in point: this chalk pastel Thanksgiving turkey. This seasonal project swaps out brushes for your kid's fingers and lets them get down and dirty when it comes to blending. Seriously, there's a lot of smudging and mixing involved, so they'll probably want to try this one out before anyone puts on their fancy clothes for Thanksgiving dinner.
Paper Turkey Craft
Easy Peasy and Fun
Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean those motor skills get a break. Keep their scissor skills up and running with this paper turkey craft. All they need to do is cut out simple lines to make the turkey pop off the page — so even if they're not the straightest scissor-er, their turkey will still make the cut.
Crimped Paper Turkey
Looks like the perm trend has hit the turkey coop! Turkeys can show off their new curly feathers this holiday and turn construction paper into crimped feathers. The more the kids fold the paper, the curlier the feathers will be. Good thing Thanksgiving takes place in the winter, since summer humidity would not work for this turkey's curly lewk.
Thanksgiving Turkey Puppet
These adorable 3D Thanksgiving puppets take the standard-issue hand turkey to a new dimension — literally! The puppets get their realistic look from the help of a tennis ball wrapped in yarn — just don't let the kids try and bounce them sky-high, as turkeys aren't that great at flying. Keep them on the ground where they feel comfortable, and use them to make the table festive.
Painted Rocks & Leaves Thanksgiving Table Decorations
Forget going to the craft store for your Thanksgiving celebration. Everything your kids will need to make your table shine is right outside in your backyard. Okay, almost everything, since they'll need craft paint to make this project complete. A few days before the holiday (or the morning of), take a family hike outside and collect pine cones, leaves, and rocks. Have the kids clean off all of the dirt and pick out bright-colored paint to give them a Thanksgiving makeover. Skip the dull fall colors and go with the vibrant pinks, oranges, and yellows for a cheery fall look.
Falling Leaves Snow Globe
Thanksgiving dinner can sometimes get a little hectic. Lots of family members running around, football blasting on the TV, and food coming in from left and right. Keep the vibes calm and set the kids up to make the day a little more relaxing with this fall sensory snow globe. They can set everything in the jar, seal it up, and watch the zen scenery come to life. They'll quickly tune out their uncle being upset about his favorite football team being down at the half or their great-aunt freaking out about the turkey not being done before dinner.
Abstract Turkey Feathers
Brown, yellow, and orange feathers are SO last year. This year's trend? Abstract feathers full of color. Have the kids ditch the paintbrush and explore five different ways to make the colors explode for their turkey's feathers. They can use shaving cream to make marbled paper, repurpose their old Duplo and turn them into stamps, or use marbles to create a one-of-a-kind pattern. No matter which one they choose, their turkey is bound to stand out in the crowd (or should we say flock?) on Thanksgiving day.
Turkey Tape Resist Art
Thanksgiving Day is the turkey's day to shine. But this tape resist art turkey project is so amazing that your kid will want to display their turkey art all year long. Tape resist painting makes their work of art look professional no matter how skilled they are with a paintbrush.
Coffee Filter Turkey Craft
Kids can continue the magic from the Thanksgiving Day parade and watch colors change right before their eyes with this coffee filter turkey. This classic craft technique is typically used to make wings for butterflies, but with the simple switch of a color palette and position of filter and clothespin, they'll have a turkey ready for Thanksgiving. Have the kids make these a few days before the holiday to decorate the table. They could even be used as place cards – just clip the names on the clothespin to help direct everyone to their seat.
Updated June 2022
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