Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities
Make a card for each family member that will be your guest for Thanksgiving this year. On each card, tell that person what you love most about them, and why you are thankful for them.
A few months before Thanksgiving, write a list of each family member. Beside their name, make a note of their best dish. Call each member and ask for a copy of that recipe, plus one or two of their own favorites that they’d like to share. When you have all the recipes ready, compile them into a booklet and print them, using your computer and printer. (You can also use professional services, if you wish, to make a longer-lasting recipe book.) After your guests all arrive for your Thanksgiving dinner, give them each a copy of your special recipe book.
Thanksgiving flower pots
Buy the smallest red clay pots you can find at your local gardening store (these are super cheap), a bag of potting soil, and packages of various flowers, vegetables, or herb seeds. Let your kids write the name of the seed on the outside of the pot with a magic marker. Next, have them pour potting soil in each pot and plant the seeds. When the seeds begin sprouting in a few weeks, let your kids take their Thanksgiving pots to the local nursing home and give them away as Thanksgiving gifts to the patients.
Thanksgiving Printable Games
Printable Thanksgiving Games
Preschool Cards of Thanks
Preschoolers love to draw and make things. Thanksgiving is a great time for your
preschoolers to make cards of thanks to hand out to all the people they are
You will need construction paper, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, fall
leaves, glitter, paste and some scissors. You might even include some fall
pictures or better yet give the kids some magazines and let them pick out their
own pictures or ask parents to send in a few pictures of the children with the
various family members.
Ask the children to think about the things they are thankful for. It’s amazing
what their little minds can come up. Tell them that they can make cards for
their parents, grandparents or anyone who they want to thank.
Be sure that somewhere on the card they place Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, etc. so
they will remember who each card belongs to. They can start by decorating their
card. Let them draw pictures, use glitter or stickers to individualize their
On the inside of the card they can place pictures of what they are thankful for.
Some may be thankful for their toys or a movie they really enjoy. Others may
find that they are just happy with a certain type of food or a new jacket.
Whatever they are thankful for let them find just the picture they need and glue
it to the inside of the card. Next, with your help they can label the card to
whomever they want.
You can also make generic cards of thanks and set up a time when you can take a
field trip to the local nursing home, Veteran’s home or hospital to leave the
cards. Your preschoolers will enjoy a trip out and they will certainly make
someone else’s day with their cards of thanks.
Remember these are cards of thanks from your preschoolers. Let their
imaginations run wild. Young children can be very insightful and you might be
surprised at what they are thankful for. Let them express their thanks in their
own way and these cards of thanks will be keepsakes to treasure for a lifetime.
Teach Your Preschooler the Meaning of Thanksgiving
Trying to teach preschoolers a long story can be a very difficult thing to
accomplish. The Thanksgiving story is no exception. How do you get them
interested in the story and the reason for Thanksgiving?
It can be as simple as creating play or a playing a game. The fact that they are
learning the true meaning of Thanksgiving is what is important. Here are a few
First you must keep them interested. Try finding a preschool age book at the
library that tells the story. Many of these books are easy to read and have a
lot of pictures that kids will understand. If it’s simple enough you can teach
your preschoolers how to read the book themselves. They pickup fast and may be
reciting the story to you before you know it.
Make a game out the story of Thanksgiving. Kids love to play games. Try matching
things that they are thankful for. Try matching Pilgrims together and Indians
together that look alike. Make a game out of creating a Thanksgiving feast. Let
the children come up with food to serve or places to have the feast. They can
use an atlas to point at an area in the world to create their feast.
Try doing a play. Kids love to use their imaginations. A play is a perfect venue
for them. Make costumes with help from the parents. Do an actual play that
parents and grandparents can come and watch. By acting out the story children
can learn by doing and being the parts of the story.
If you’re doing a play be sure to assign parts for the children that are right
for them. Help them to understand and they’ll learn faster and retain the
information longer. It also doesn’t have to be the traditional Thanksgiving
play. Change the characters in the story to things that preschoolers can
associate with. For instance many children are into the Cars movie so make your
play following Lighting and Mater, just changing the story line to fit
Thanksgiving. This will give the kids an idea of what they are doing, who their
characters are, but also an idea of what Thanksgiving about.
Be sure to keep it simple and short. As you well know, young children have short
attention spans. If the play is too long or complicated they won’t stick with
it. Also allow them to be themselves. If they make up their own lines or add
Mommy and Daddy in that’s ok. The important thing is that they are learning from
Let the kids imaginations take over. They can decorate cardboard for scenery or
come up with ideas for their costumes. The more involvement they have, the
better they’ll grasp the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Be sure to incorporate today into the story. The kids will associate
Thanksgiving and being thankful with things they have and know. If the
preschooler is thankful for the cookie they had at lunch let them say so in the
play. This will bring it to a level they can understand and appreciate.
Whatever the case may be for teaching preschoolers about Thanksgiving be sure to
that they know it’s okay to be thankful for anything they have in their life
that brings them happiness and joy. It’s the little things in life we forget and
take for granted and our children are a great reminder of those little things.;
Making Thanksgiving Placemats
Keeping your preschool class busy the week before Thanksgiving vacation can be
hard to do. They want to roam, run and can’t concentrate because the big day is
coming and they are too excited. Each day can be a new adventure. Allowing them
to use some of that pent up energy to create things for their Thanksgiving Day
can be a blessing of it’s own. There are many things preschoolers can make on
their own. One is their very own table placemat.
Let the kids pick out their construction paper color of choice for their
placemat. Attach the construction paper with paste to a very thin sheet of
cardboard cut to the same size as the construction paper. This will help to keep
the paper from tearing or being bent in the take home process.
The fun part for the kids begins now. Be sure to have crayons, colored pencils,
glue, scissors, glitter, pictures of turkeys, pumpkins, corn stalks, scarecrows,
Pilgrims and Indians and any other Thanksgiving items you can think of. Now set
your preschoolers to work.
Let their imaginations sore. They may come up with leaves attached to every part
of the construction paper. Maybe they will do their own type of Thanksgiving
feast by using pictures of food cut out of magazines. They can even draw a
scarecrow next to a Pilgrim eating all that wonderful food. You just never know
with a child’s imagination.
Be sure once the placemat is finished and completely dried to cover it with
saran wrap taped to the back. This will protect and preserve the placement for
the trip home. It will also help to keep the placemat clean and protected during
their dinner. This way Mom and Dad can keep it to remember that special
Thanksgiving with their preschooler.
Thanksgiving Napkin Rings
There are many things preschoolers can make on their own for Thanksgiving. One
functional and fun craft is napkin rings for their Thanksgiving dinner.
The easiest way to start a napkin ring is by using a toilet paper or paper towel
tube. This keeps the rings sturdy enough for the kids to work with and can
easily be set directly on the dinner table holding a napkin.
There are many different ways to create Thanksgiving napkin rings. One of the
easiest ways is to apply stickers to the ring. Finding Thanksgiving stickers
should be an easy feat. Have the children pick the stickers they like and place
them on the outside of the ring. This could create quite the festive napkin ring
for any table.
Get a bit more creative, by placing a single turkey sticker on the ring. Add a
few feathers with glue to the inside of the ring to create a turkey napkin ring.
Feathers work well in making Indian headdress napkin rings also. By gluing a
strip of brown construction paper around the tube and then adding feathers to
the inside of the tube you can have a headdress fit for any Indian at the table.
How about making them into a Pilgrim’s hat? Help the children glue a black piece
of construction paper around the tube. Then using a piece of cardboard cut into
a round shape, make the brim of the hat by attaching it with glue to the bottom
of the tube. Help the children cut out buckles from yellow, gold or silver
construction paper and attach them to the front of the hat. They can also place
black construction paper around the tube and glue the buckle right to the tube
for just the buckle effect.
Whichever idea you decide to use be sure it’s easy for your preschoolers to
accomplish. They will be proud to take these napkin rings home and help Mom with
the Thanksgiving Day decorations.
Most families have so many family members over for Thanksgiving dinner that the
kids end up sitting at a table of their very own. Why not keep your preschoolers
busy making a centerpiece they can enjoy on their own table?
There are a couple of things that your preschoolers can do for a centerpiece.
The first idea will require a trip to the craft store. Purchase some inexpensive
wicker horns. These can be found at most craft stores and depending on the size
can be inexpensive. Now go on the hunt for artificial fruit, pinecones, acorns,
Indian corn and some fall flowers and leaves.
Once you have all the crafts let your preschoolers make their own cornucopia.
They can fill the wicker horns with any of the items you have. Be sure to have
some large bags to place the cornucopia in for the transport home.
They can also make a turkey for their centerpiece. Again this will require some
help from you. Take balloons and wrap paper mache around the balloons. You will
need large balloons for the body and small ones for the turkey head. You can
have the children do this, but be sure they have protective clothing or aprons
before starting. Once the paper mache is completely covering the balloon allow
it to dry before the children start decorating them. This craft should probably
be done in two separate days in order for it to dry completely.
Using brown paint let the children paint their turkey bodies and heads. Again
this can be very messy so make sure the children are covered and the area they
are working in is covered as well.
Once the paint is dry they can finish decorating their turkey. Attach the head
to the body with glue. Let the children paint eyes and beaks on their turkeys. A
gobbler can also be made by using cotton balls dipped in red paint. Once the
cotton ball is dry, attach it to the turkey using glue.
Now attach legs and feet by using light brown pipe cleaners. To make them strong
enough to hold the turkey body you will have to put a few pipe cleaners
together. Do this by twisting them into one piece. Bend the bottoms out at a
90-degree angle for the feet. Attach the legs to the bottom side of the turkey
Don’t forget the feathers. Brightly colored feathers will make their turkey more
colorful and inviting. Place these at the back of the turkey with glue.
Now your preschoolers have their very own turkey to take home and place in the
center of their table.
Thanksgiving Table Runner
Table runners can be fun and easy for preschoolers to make. They don’t have to
fit the table perfectly either. Children will love the idea of having made a
table runner to decorate their own Thanksgiving table with. Here’s how to do it.
Start with pieces of fabric about one foot wide and four feet long. It may not
fit their table perfectly but it will come close and cover the center of almost
any table no matter what the size. The fabric needs to be in plain bright fall
colors. Be sure it is a color that the children’s creations will stand out on.
Using fabric markers let the children be creative. You might want to find some
simple Thanksgiving pictures for the children to work from. They know what a
turkey looks like but having pictures to work from may help them to create
things on their runner they might not think of on their own.
Pilgrims and Indians are a good idea for a table runner. They are easy for
children to draw and will bring delight to any table. They can also apply leaves
or fall flowers to their table runner with glue. Fall ric rac can be applied
easily with glue to give the table runner a festive look.
You can also allow the children to use cutouts instead of drawing if you’d
prefer. These can be taken from magazines and placed on the table runner with
glue. They can also attach paper pumpkins to the table runner or pictures of a
cornucopia in the middle. Whatever ideas your preschooler comes up with will be
After the children have finished their table runner and any glue applied has
dried, you will need to take pinking shears and finish off the edges of the
fabric. Go completely around the fabric. This will ensure that the fabric
doesn’t ravel out. It only takes a few minutes and will keep your little ones
from becoming upset because their decoration has come apart or started to
Making a table runner for their very own table can be so much fun for
preschoolers. The ideas they come up with might throw you for a loop, but in the
end it’s their creation and their memories for years to come.
Not many people decorate the outside of their homes for Thanksgiving. Your
preschoolers can change that with some really cute wreaths that can be hung on
their front door or taped to a window in the house. With a little construction
paper, glue and some items that can be found outdoors, they can make a wreath to
treasure and spruce up their home as well.
You can go to the local craft store and purchase some straw wreaths for the
children to decorate. Depending on the size of the wreath they can be pretty
inexpensive. Remember if you purchase straw wreaths you will also have to
purchase some floral wire to attach the decoration items with.
You can also make wreaths out of construction paper. Using green, brown or even
yellow construction paper and a wreath template you can create paper wreaths for
your children to decorate. A piece of string attached to the top of the wreath
will make the wreath easy to hang.
Gather items they can attach to decorate their wreath. Most of these items can
be found in your own back yard. Better yet take the kids on a nature walk and
have them collect their own decorations. Pinecones, acorns, berries, leaves,
pieces of corn stalks and other items like these can be found and easily
attached to either kind of wreath. Be sure the items aren’t too big to fit on
If you are making a wreath from construction paper the children can glue
pictures of Thanksgiving items around it. Cut out pictures from magazines that
will cover not only Thanksgiving but fall in general. Be sure they are bright
and easy to manage when gluing onto the wreath.
Let the children create their wreath however they see fit. You have given them a
theme to follow and they will use their imaginations to create a wreath like no
other. If you are using straw wreaths help the children attach their items with
the floral wire. This will ensure the items stay on the wreath after it is hung.
Last but not least use a piece of floral wire to create a hanger on the back of
the wreath. If you are making wreaths out of construction paper, use string for
the hanger. It is easy to attach the string with by punching a hole through the
paper and running string through the hole.
Whichever idea is the easiest for you and your preschoolers is the best way to
go. As long as the wreath is colorful, follows the fall and Thanksgiving theme
and is created mostly by the preschooler. Once home they can decorate their
house with their own creation and maybe start a new tradition in the
Make an Indian Headdress
Thanksgiving is a great time for children to make an Indian headdress. Indians
were part of that history and a headdress is one way your preschooler can say
thank you to them for their part in our history and freedom.
These headdresses are pretty easy to make. You will have to help the children
with the actual headband but the decorating will pretty much be all their own
doing. Start with construction paper and make each child a headband that will
slide easily onto his or her head.
Now onto the fun part; you’ll need glitter, stars, fall ric rac, colored
pencils, crayons, feathers of different sizes and glue to complete the look.
Start by letting your preschooler color their headband. There colors should be
bright and bold. Most Indian headdresses stand out not only because of the
feathers but also because of the bright vibrant colors included in the
headdress. Even fluorescent markers will work if you dare to bring them out of
Once the children have decorated their headdress with markers they can place
gold and silver stars on the headdress. Glitter is also a good item to place on
the headdress to make it stand out. The brighter the better and both stars and
glitter are a great way to make the headdress sparkle. The ric rac can be
applied with glue.
Next you will need to attach the feathers. If you are making a headdress for an
Indian squaw one long feather attached in the middle of the back of the
headdress is the way to go. If you are doing a full headdress then you will need
to attach numerous feathers. You will need to start with short feathers attached
by glue to the headband. The next row should be medium length feathers attached
to the backside of the short feathers. The third row will be the longest
feathers, again attached by glue to the backside of the medium feathers. This
will create a full headdress any Indian chief would be proud to wear.
Be sure to tell the story of the Indians and their part in the first
Thanksgiving. The children will enjoy knowing about the Indians and why the
headdress is so important. On Thanksgiving Day they can wear their headdress
with pride and tell their own version of the first Thanksgiving to their family.