Thanksgiving is always more cheerful when you have happy children running about, busy with creative, fun projects. With the weather already getting chilly, give your children an outlet for their creativity by letting them make your home’s Thanksgiving décor. The entire family will be inspired by the festive ambiance these kid-friendly projects inspire.
Cornucopias are traditional Thanksgiving centerpieces that symbolize nourishment and abundance. Putting together a cornucopia is easy and trouble-free, making it an ideal project for children 2 years old and up.
Give your kids a basket and let them gather bright-colored leaves from the garden. If your child is too young to differentiate which materials would make a good cornucopia, you can pre-select the leaves for them, or sort out anything that wouldn’t be usable. Let the kids glue the usable autumn leaves around a horn-shaped cornucopia basket. When the basket looks leafy enough, have the children fill it with fruit and vegetables. Allowing them to place the completed cornucopia at the center of the table will give them the satisfaction of finishing an important Thanksgiving project for the family.
Let your kids create works of art that reflect their character by creating a handprint (or footprint) turkey. This project allows them to put their own individual twist on the Thanksgiving festivities, and gets their bodies involved, too.
For this project, you’ll need scissors, glue, a pack of construction paper with assorted colors and two googly eyes. Help your kids trace their own feet onto brown pieces of construction paper and assist them in cutting them out. They don’t need to trace their toes in detail – just the general shape of their foot will do. The foot-shaped cut-outs will serve as the body of the turkey, with the heel as its head.
Let the children trace their hands on a variety of colored paper, with their fingers fanned out. These handprint cut-outs can then be glued on the back of the turkey’s body to serve as its feathers.
When the children are done gluing the feathers, you can help them polish their work by adding a few important details. A small orange triangle cut-out can serve as the turkey’s beak and a peanut-shaped red one as the turkey’s wattle. You can draw the turkey’s feet on orange paper to match the color of its beak. Finally, glue the googly eyes on the turkey’s face.
With your children’s unique imprint, the handprint turkey is as adorable and endearing as the kids themselves.
Enlist your kids’ help in creating party favors for the guests. A Thanksgiving pasta bracelet is a unique memorable gift for your loved ones, especially when made by your children.
Let the kids choose the colors they want for the beads and sort the pasta by color. By using this method of dyeing pasta, you and your kids can create beads with vibrant colors.
Cut pieces of stretch nylon cords to the length you want the bracelets to be. The kids can start stringing the cords through the colorful pasta and arrange these colored pasta beads according to their liking. This activity not only brings out their creativity, but also improves their fine motor skills. Help the children finish by assisting them in tying the ends of the bracelets together and cutting off any excess cord.
Coloring Pine Cones
If your kids love the outdoors, invite them to bring nature into your home by picking up some pine cones and turning them into ornaments. They can also make an adorable table centerpiece using a colorful bunch of these cones!
To color the cones, you will need poster paint, paintbrushes and a string. First, use the string to tie the pine cones to a clothesline, making sure they hang at a height the children can reach. Let your pre-schoolers paint them using poster paint in their favorite colors. After this artistic venture, they can leave the pine cones hanging to allow the paint to dry.
When their colorful creations have dried, let the children put them in a bowl or a basket to serve as a Thanksgiving accent on the kitchen island, bar, sofa table or dining table.
By keeping your children’s hands full on Thanksgiving with these projects, they will enjoy a sense of accomplishment and pride that they were able to help you during this special day in their own little way.