I can smell it now … the gravy, the sweet potato casserole, the yeast rolls, and the turkey. I look forward to Thanksgiving every year, not just because I can eat lots of yummy foods that someone else cooks for me, but because it is usually the first time I get to see family since the summer.
In the midst of traveling, cooking, and shopping, I hope you will find a few moments to spend with your family and work on some fun, simple crafts over Thanksgiving.
Just a few ideas to involve your kids over the holiday before we get started on the crafts: Have them decorate the tablecloth while you cook. Ask them to draw and write about Thanksgiving and family. Or let the older children prepare a simple dish without your help.
And the crafts:
Turkey Day Shirt/Onesie
This first craft was inspired by a dear friend of mine who always thinks of amazing ideas. You will need a blank, solid colored shirt or onesie (any color is fine, but we used white), a sheet of brown felt, 2 small googly eyes, 2 different colors of wide ribbon (we used blue and pink), 3 different colors of slightly smaller in width ribbon (we used green, orange, and pink plaid), and an even smaller in width ribbon (we used green again with an embellishment). Try and vary the textures and patterns if you are more creative!
Cut the brown felt into one small circle for the head and one larger circle for the body. Cut two small strips of the orange ribbon and glue them to the back of the larger circle for the feet. Cut a small triangle out of the orange ribbon and glue on the smaller circle for the beak. Glue two googly eyes on the smaller circle. Glue the smaller circle to the top of the larger circle. Now, when cutting the ribbon, cut all pieces to the same length, but your length may be different from mine or any others. This is not exact science!
Eyeball your shirt or onesie to determine how long the ribbon pieces need to be. We used roughly 6-7 inches for a onesie. Cut 2 pieces of the pink ribbon, 3 pieces of the blue ribbon, 4 pieces of the orange ribbon, 2 pieces of the green ribbon, 2 pieces of the pink plaid ribbon, and 2 pieces of the green ribbon with embellishments. Fold each ribbon and glue the two open ends together before gluing to the back of the felt. Start with the larger pieces of ribbon and work your way down. Use the picture as guide for where each color should be. Glue the entire turkey to the shirt or onesie. Cut a small piece of the green ribbon with embellishments and tie into a small bow (optional). Glue the bow onto the side of the smaller circle. Use any color ribbon you would like so that anyone can wear it! It is your design.
Take a walk outside and have your kids gather many different leaves that are colorful and interesting. Have them pick at least one that will be used as their leaf. Use a large piece of brown construction paper and cut out a tree trunk (be creative!). Cut out smaller pieces of the brown paper to use as branches, vary the lengths and widths. Glue the branches around the top of the tree trunk. Remember, this tree can be as small or as large as you want. Have the children determine which leaf they found would represent each member of your family. Feel free to include cousins, aunts, grandparents, uncles, or even special guests that will be coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. Carefully use a marker or sharpie to write their name on the leaf (be gentle). Glue the leaves around the tree and display for everyone to see!
You will need a large needle (parental supervision), dried fruit, pieces of orange peel, popped corn, and string or fishing line. Measure out the length of line that you need to fit the necklace over your child’s head. Thread the needle and string the popcorn and other items along the line using any pattern you desire. After wearing for the day, have your child add a bit of peanut butter to the pieces and hang on a tree outside for the birds.
A Splash of Fall Color
This craft is for all you moms and dads who are brave enough to attempt the mess! Lay out a large, white bed sheet or tablecloth outside. Pour fall colors of paint into plastic bowls (reds, oranges, yellows, browns, and greens). Maybe add a few bowls of glitter, googly eyes, tinsel, or cut outs. Set out a few paint brushes. Let your child make hand print turkeys, mix the colors to make new ones, or just sit back and watch them explore their creativity. This is a great activity to pass the time while waiting for your turkey to finish cooking. It is also a wonderful sensory activity that your child will love! Let them guide the play, just be a watchful eye. Hey, it might turn out so well that you decide to use it as the tablecloth for dinner.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of great food, family and friends, and most importantly fun!
Amber is the stay-at-home mom of a baby, a full-time graduate student at N.C. State and a part-time photographer. She lives with her family in Garner. She shares crafts here on Go Ask Mom once or twice a month.
For more holiday fun and events, check the 2011 Go Ask Mom Holiday Page.