Give children opportunities to learn about why we are “thankful” during Thanksgiving. Teach gratitude and ways to say thank you for what we have. These activities are fun to do and teach an important lesson along the way.
Thanksgiving is a special time to remember our country’s humble beginnings, a time to gather with family and friends to say, “thank you” for our good fortune. Through these fun crafts, children can learn to appreciate the things they have and to give thanks and blessings for a wonderful life.
Thanksgiving offers a great opportunity to take stock of all the good things in our lives. What better way than to create a catalog? Make a simple book of gratitude by having your child glue magazine pictures or snapshots to construction paper. Or the child can use his/her own artwork. Included could be family, food, pets, house, toys, and so on. Don’t make this a project your child does alone. Parents should create their own book too. After all, don’t we all have things for which to be grateful?
Let the children get involved in holiday preparations by decorating the tablecloth for Thanksgiving dinner. Purchase a paper tablecloth from a party supply store. With crayons and markers the kids can draw pictures of things they are thankful for and also symbolic pictures of the holiday. For a permanent keepsake, use a white fabric table covering along with fabric crayons or markers. Make sure to follow the package directions to heat-set the decorations. Make sure to mark the date on this cloth. Another touch for memorabilia is to have the kids trace around their hands and write their names inside the print.
Thanksgiving is in November, which is the time when autumn leaves are abundant. Have the children cut leaves from construction paper in fall colors or orange, yellow, red, and brown. Give family members and guests a leaf and invite them to write what they are thankful for on the leaf with a black marker. The children can use tape or a stapler and string these onto a long length of ribbon. This gratitude garland can be hung along a staircase, unlit fireplace or on the wall for a decoration of blessings.
A thankful turkey craft will use your child’s handprints and footprint, which is a nice way to remember their features as the years go by. So to begin, trace around your child’s foot and then trace around each hand onto construction paper. I suggest brown for the foot that will be the turkey’s neck and the handprints in fall colors which will resemble the turkey’s tail feathers. The children can write things they are thankful for on each finger of the handprint. Cut these pieces out.
To assemble, glue the footprint onto a lunch size paper plate that has been colored or painted brown. Behind the plate attach the handprints with the fingers pointing up and showing as the tail feathers. Draw facial features (eyes and waddle) with crayons or markers.