Thanksgiving crafts for kids

You’re busy this month planning and preparing your Thanksgiving feast, so give your children a few holiday activities they can sink their teeth into. When completed, these items can be used as decorations for your table and home.

Turkey taters

Items needed: thin cardboard or card stock; white construction paper; pencil; markers; scissors; straight pins; potato.

Lay your hand down on a piece of cardboard. Spread your fingers apart. Use a pencil to draw around each finger and thumb, making the hand outline a little larger than your hand is. This will be the feathers.

On white construction paper, draw two round eyes, a triangular beak, and a teardrop-shaped wattle.

Before cutting anything out, color the feathers and facial features. The feathers can be a blend of hues. The eyes should have a black center for the pupils, the beak yellow, and the wattle red.

Now, cut out all of the turkey features. Take the potato and slice off a small section of the bottom so it will stand without falling. Carefully attach the eyes, beak, wattle, and feathers with straight pins.

Notable natives

Items needed: two empty toilet paper rolls; orange, pink, black, and yellow construction paper; scissors; glue; pencil; black marker; ruler.

Cut two of each of the following from construction paper: 4- by 6-inch orange paper (Native American body); 2- by 6-inch pink paper (face); 3- by 4-inch black paper (hair); 1- by 6-inch orange paper (headband); small feather shapes from yellow paper.

Wrap an empty toilet paper roll with the orange paper and glue in place.

Draw a face on the pink paper. Wrap the pink paper around the top edge of the toilet paper roll to form the face and head. Glue in place. Cut the black construction paper in long, narrow strips, so it makes fringe for the hair.

Glue hair around the sides and back of the head. For headband, draw zigzag lines or another design across the long orange strip. Glue two or three feathers on the backside of the headband. When dry, wrap the headband around the Native American’s head and face making sure not to cover the eyes. Glue in place.

Repeat instructions for the second Native American. Add more feathers for the boy, and draw a beaded necklace on the girl.

Brim and buckle napkin rings

Items needed: empty toilet paper roll; black and yellow construction paper; scissors; glue; ruler; large jar or cup 3 1/2- to 4-inches in diameter.

Cut each of the following from construction paper: 3- by 6-inch black paper; black circle measuring 3 ½- to 4-inches in diameter (use the mouth of the jar or cup as a guide); 2-inch square yellow construction paper.

Measure 3 inches on the toilet paper roll, and cut it down to that size. Roll black paper around the toilet paper roll and glue in place. This is the body of the hat. On one end, cut six small tabs around the bottom.

Take the black circle and stand the toilet paper roll on one end in the center.

Trace around the roll to form an inner circle. Cut out this inner circle to make a donut shape. Slip the donut shape down over the toilet paper roll to form the brim of the hat. Fold the tabs on the bottom of the roll so they are underneath the brim. Put a dab of glue on each tab and secure to the brim.

Take the yellow square and cut a smaller yellow square on the inside so it is hollow in the center. This is the buckle of the hat. Glue it onto the hat, close to the brim. The napkin fits into the top of the hat. Repeat directions until you have enough for all of your guests.

Thankful tree

Items needed: red, green, brown, yellow, and purple construction paper; large brown paper bag or roll of brown paper; scissors; tape; pen.

Cut apart a large brown paper bag and use it to make the trunk and branches of a tree. Hang this on the refrigerator door or another door in your home. As family and friends arrive at your house on Thanksgiving Day, ask if you can trace their hands on a piece of construction paper. Have them write something they are thankful for on each handprint. When they are finished, cut out the hands and attach them to the tree, so they look like leaves.

Cornucopia of candy

Items needed: large waffle cones; candy corn and pumpkins; other small candies.

Lay cones on their side and fill with candy corn and pumpkin mix, or other small candies.

This can be a small table centerpiece, or a favor at each person’s place setting.

Seasonal books

To enjoy a Thanksgiving-themed story time with your child, check out these books at your library:

“Albert’s Thanksgiving” by Leslie Tryon

“The Candy Corn Contest” by Patricia Reilly Giff (sound recording)

“The First Thanksgiving” by Lois Lensky

“Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving” by Eric Metaxas

“Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving” by Laurie Halse Anderson

“A Turkey for Thanksgiving” by Eve Bunting (book and sound recording)

“Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols” by Edna Barth

“Turkey Pox” by Laurie Halse Anderson

Denise Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children.