Halloween has just wrapped up, and with Christmas tunes already echoing throughout shopping malls, before you know you'll be unpacking those beautiful bows, buntings, and baubles to deck the halls of your home. But there's one more holiday pit stop on the road to the season of giving — one food lovers everywhere are especially grateful for: Thanksgiving.
Kids love the holidays, and Turkey Day is no exception. But with all of the hubbub and commotion of a big family dinner, it can be a little overwhelming and boring for them. Here are some great artsy and crafty ways to keep them occupied on the day of, and also get them in the spirit of the holiday. (You'll thank us later.)
Woven placemats are a gorgeous and fun way to decorate your table, and they're super simple to make. All you need is construction paper in autumn colors, safety scissors, and maybe a glue stick or two to help hold it all together (note, kiddos, not a snack). There are a ton of instructions out there showing you how to go about making placemats for the big dinner, but with crayons or markers each child can put his or her own unique spin on the design. If you do the main part of the placemat ahead of time, they can be laminated to last longer.
These days you can buy candles in just about every size, shape, color, and scent. But you can also enlist kids’ help with decorating plain white candles with paper cutouts of Thanksgiving themed shapes like turkeys, or more general fall themes such as leaves. Ribbons and a gourd or two can also be used to complete a centerpiece for the table. Just don't burn the candles with the cutouts still attached.
Construct Turkey Wall Decorations
Fingers are great. Not only do they help us deliver delicious slices of pumpkin pie to our mouths, but they also make the perfect feather outlines for Hand Turkeys! Anyone who's ever been a kid knows exactly what we're referring to. Trace your hand turkeys with crayons or pencils, then color those little gobblers in. For the parents who prefer to live dangerously, set the little ones up with some finger paints, too. (Or don't. Probably don't.)
Create Gratitude Collages
For a meaningful and truly holiday appropriate craft project, have kids make collages of all the things they are thankful for. Start putting magazines aside that they can cut up, as well as having paper and crayons or colored pens available to draw their own ideas.
Make Napkin Holders
Using ribbon and feathers, you can have kids create napkin holders for each guest. Make sure you have heavy construction paper or cardboard inserts from paper towel rolls that the ribbon can be taped or glued on to.
Design Thanksgiving Wreaths
It’s nice to have something to welcome guests as they enter your front door. As they are outside, you can use some natural materials in your design as well, such as leaves, pine cones, and branches. Augment these with handmade decorations from the kids like pumpkins and turkeys, or just let their imaginations run wild!
Craft projects will keep your young ones occupied both for their fun, and your sanity. It's tough having someone under foot while you dash around the kitchen trying to cook for twenty. Make sure to have plenty of crayons, markers, construction paper, glue, and tape available ahead of time. Any art supplies left over will be perfect come Hanukkah or Christmas, when there even more crafty fun to be had.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, holiday decorations are bound to go up immediately after the celebrations have settled (if not already!). Be sure to check out our selection of Holiday buntings, banners, and bows to hang alongside your kids’ newest creations this holiday season!