The holidays are upon everyone, which means you haven’t got a lot of time left for preparations for the festivities. And you’ve already got a lot on your plate. For one, the school’s out, and the kids are hanging around the house, especially your toddler (if you have one). It may be better to keep them preoccupied for a little while, as you prepare for the feast
One way to do this to spark their creativity and have them create DIY budget-friendly decor for the holidays. You can set up a craft table in the living room with recycled materials or household items.
Below are quick and fun Thanksgiving craft ideas you can make with your toddler that they are sure to enjoy.
1. Roast turkey piñata
Photo courtesy of Alexander Kliem via Pixabay
- Old newspaper
A fun craft idea for toddlers is to have them make their own piñata and stuff the treats in there themselves. All you’ll need are some basic paper mache know-how and your kids’ favorite candies.
First, mix one-part flour and one part water. Then, cut the newspapers into strips, then inflate the balloon into the size you want. Next, wrap the wet newspapers around the balloon until you’ve got 3 or 4 layers wrapped around the balloon. Leave a hole on top; this is where you will place the candies. Let the layers dry up for at least 24 hours. When it’s rock solid, pop the balloon and carefully take it out of the cocoon-like structure you’ve made. Then, place the treats inside.
Now, close the hole with a few layers of newspaper. After that, paint the piñata, like a roast turkey.
2. Blessings calendar
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- Colored paper
- Old empty picture frame
Another cool craft idea your toddlers can make is a sort-of advent calendar counting down the days to Christmas–but with a twist: it’s fall-themed and lists down what your family is thankful for.
First, you can trace actual dried leaves onto the colored paper. Make the number of leaves equal to the days left before Christmas. The kids will write on these faux leaves what they are thankful for. If your toddlers are still learning how to write, you can have some of the older kids help out. Everyone in the family can pitch in, too.
Write notes of gratitude on one side of the leaves and numbers on the other side. Mark each leaf with a number that corresponds to the dates left before Christmas.
Tie the strings down along the frame, and pin the leaves into columns according their chronological dates. With each passing day, turn the leaf over to reveal the note of gratitude written on the other side. Have the family member who wrote it read it out loud, and explain why they are thankful for what they wrote down.
3. DIY holiday cards
- Colored or plain card stock
- Colored pens and markers
- Regular pair of scissors or craft scissors
- Colored paper
Your kids can also help with holiday cards. It’s up to them what they want to put in it, as long as they’re having fun with their Thanksgiving craft.
All they’ll need are some sturdy card stocks and colorful imagination. They can even write or draw their own messages alongside the ones from the other members of the family. They can pick out some of the recipients, like their playmates or teachers.
4. Thanksgiving hat party
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- Colored paper
- Regular pair of Scissors or /Craft scissors
- Adhesive tape
- Measuring tape
To put a little twist on this Thanksgiving dinner, why not make it a hat party? Everyone can have their own designated hat designed by the kids.
First, use the measuring tape to measure the size of the hats. They should be large enough to fit everyone. Then, cut strips of colored paper according to the head sizes. Staple the ends of the strips together; so you’ll have the hat’s base.
This base is where you’ll tape or paste whatever the kids choose as decoration. You can help them cut up some turkey feathers or autumn leaves.
5. Pumpkin turkey
- Small pumpkins
- Glue gun
- Sturdy colored paper or foamy
- Googly eyes
- Faux autumn leaves
Another fun Thanksgiving craft you and your toddlers can make are mini pumpkin turkeys. It’s like putting on a turkey costume on a small pumpkin.
First, cut the shapes of the turkey claws, beak, and head on colored paper. Glue these to the small pumpkin’s front side, along with the faux leaves as the feathers on the back. Then, glue some googly eyes on the head, and voila! You now have your own mini pumpkin turkey.
6. Pavement mural
- Colored chalks
You can also take your kids’ Thanksgiving craft outside. Let them draw a chalk mural on the sidewalk in front of your house or in the park (if allowed). You can even invite the neighborhood kids to join along and make it a community activity.
They can draw turkeys or autumn leaves, or they can write what they are thankful for. Just make sure you use anti-dust and non-toxic chalk; so you can avoid allergic reactions and medical incidents. Also, make sure you the kids! If you’re busy making Christmas dinner, make sure you have wireless alarm systems placed near or around your home so you can watch over them.
7. Thanksgiving candle jars
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- Mason jars
- Tea light or small candles
This is a fun Thanksgiving craft that gives off a magical glow. First, cover the inside of the jar with glue. Then, sprinkle the sequins on the glued areas. You can buy sequins in the color of autumn, like orange, yellow, red, and brown. You can even buy leaf-shaped sequins if you’d like.
After the glue has dried up, place the tea light or candle inside the mason jar and watch it come to life!
8. Turkey watercolor garland
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- Watercolor paper
- Hole puncher
This one you can hang up around the house as decoration. Trace your kids’ hands on watercolor paper. Cut out the hand drawings and paint them with fall colors. When the paint has dried, have your kids draw the turkeys’ features on the pieces of paper.
Punch holes on the paper turkeys and tie them up in a row using the twine. Now, you have your own turkey garland you can hang up anywhere.
No matter how little time you have left for the holiday preparations, make sure you squeeze in some quality time with your little ones. They won’t be so little anymore in a few years; it’s important that you make the most out of your time with them starting today. And what better time to do it than during the holidays, in which the family is the core?
Have a great happy Thanksgiving with your family.