The holidays for children will be most remembered for the time they spent with family. By taking just a few minutes to create a craft with your preschooler, you are making a lifetime memory for them and a special keepsake for yourself. Most of the 25 crafts shown here can be found on Pinterest.
We’ll start off with the classic turkey with colorful feathers. There are so many different variations, but the ones I have listed here stood out to me for various reasons.
1. I love this turkey because it is just so unique. A bonus is that manipulating the beans and pasta is great for strengthening small motor skills. If you wanted to take it a step further, you could frame it and display it year after year.
2. This adorable little guy can bring a hint of nature to your Thanksgiving table. You could even write names on a leaf of each one and use them as place cards. What child doesn’t love google eyes?
3. & 4. Who doesn’t cherish a handprint turkey from their little one? So cute! These next two would both be great either framed or laminated and used as placemats!
5. & 6. Then there’s also the classic thankful turkey. These are such a great way to tie in the purpose of the holiday. Wouldn’t it be fun to do one every year and see how the things they are thankful for change?
7. If you want something similar to a handprint turkey but with a twist, you can make a footprint turkey. I love this one with the colorful feathers. The feathers add a different texture for kids to manipulate. You can even have a little fun and have a tickle fight with the feathers before gluing them on!
8., 9., & 10. Indian corn brings a remembrance of harvest blessings to the Thanksgiving holiday. Small manipulatives are always great for strengthening fine motor skills in preschoolers. Providing them with a variety of colors and textures also helps to develop their senses. Here, colorful buttons are used to create the pieces of corn.
11 This is by far my favorite corn craft because it combines counting with crafting! They can either glue the candy on as they count, or you could not glue them and use it over and over again for counting practice.
12. This super simple corn shaker is sure to be a hit with the little music-makers! You could even throw in some confetti for a little color. Just remember to glue the lid on so you don’t end up having more to clean up than dinner dishes!
13. Here is a colorful wreath to greet your guests. While this craft is a little more time-consuming than most, I love the finished product!The corn is painted using tempera paint and bubble wrap. How fun is that? The simple v-shaped leaves are added, then layered onto a wreath-shaped piece of cardboard. Finish it off with a piece of ribbon or twine for hanging.
14. & 15. This last corn craft may end up being made at my house. Start by attaching toothpicks or corn cob holders onto the ends of a raw ear of corn. Roll through different colors of paint, then roll them onto a sheet of paper. You can either leave their painting “as is,” or cut and paste it into another shape as shown above.
Next, I’ll move on to crafts that highlight the fall season with leaves and acorns.
16. This is such a great idea for your Thanksgiving table. Go outside and gather some leaves, paint them, and use them to print a tablecloth. You can either use tempera paint and a paper tablecloth, or even better, fabric paint and a real tablecloth!
17. Beautiful sun-catchers are made using torn up tissue paper and cold laminating pouches. Kids will love ripping up the tissue paper! Then you can help them layer it between the top and bottom of a laminating pouch. Press the two sides together and cut into leaf shapes.
18. After spending some time outdoors gathering leaves, hand your preschooler some paint, a larger paint brush, and a large piece of paper or poster board. This type of painting, where an object leaves a void, not only creates a beautiful picture but also shows your child a different perspective. Usually, where they put paint is the picture they are creating instead of where they didn’t put paint.
19. These leaf people are just fun and quirky. They definitely allow your preschooler to be imaginative. I encourage you to do a search online for leaf people because there are so many to choose from!
20. & 21. I like this fingerprint tree because it uses the child’s hand for branches. But just look what they have done here with the all-season tree! It makes me wish my kids were little again so we could create one!
22. The acorn… I like the idea of an acorn craft because we see so many turkeys and leaves done that the acorn gives you something unique. You or your preschooler can cut out a simple acorn shape, then rip up tissue paper, scrunch it, and glue. These would also make adorable name markers for your table.
23. Now, let’s not forget about those Pilgrims! If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to tell your kids the story of the “First Thanksgiving.” I was taught so many false things about the Pilgrims, Native Americans, and their feast growing up that I seriously thought that was when the Thanksgiving holiday started. There are truly some wonderfully lessons to be learned about that time in our nations history that we tend to think of when we celebrate Thanksgiving.
24. Now, I have seen a lot of cute handprint crafts, but this one is absolutely adorable! These plastic cup pilgrim hats are another great idea for place markers or centerpieces.
25. What a couple of cute faces to greet your guests at the door! Or just a fun way for your child to retell the story to their loved ones.
I hope you’ve been inspired to grab some paper, paint, glue, and a little bit of nature and make some special memories with you precious little preschooler.
Check out our bonus tutorial of a Thanksgiving turkey hat below!
By: Katie Schnarr, K4 Teacher, Faith Christian Preschool