Parents does the Thanksgiving holiday find you up to your eyebrows in kids and work? Why not put those youngsters to work making Thanksgiving decoration? Keep busy little ones productively occupied with homemade, recycled holiday crafts for preschool kids. Get your work done and keep children out from under foot and happily making holiday crafts for your celebration.
Have preschool kids collect autumn leaves, acorns, seed pods, pine cones and create a homemade fall foliage centerpiece. Have children arrange leaves and acorns in bowls. Make potpourri: peel apples for apple sauce and peel oranges for cranberry sauce. Add bits of peelings, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to make fragrant decorations. Add cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Or make a Thanksgiving candle holder centerpiece. Spray paint foliage gold and glue on a plastic butter lid. Leave a space for a pretty green, red, gold, silver or white taper candle. These are the ultimate recycled holiday crafts.
Make a homemade holiday countdown paper chain. Cut 1-inch strips of red, yellow, orange, brown construction paper 10 inches long. Or make strips from paper in the recycle bin. Weave recycled gift wrapping ribbon into the chain. Or spray with gold spray paint. Preschool kids can write what they are thankful for. They can poll older siblings and busy parents on what they are giving thanks for this Thanksgiving. Preschool kids could make strips from family members’ Thanksgiving thoughts. Make a loop and tape shut. Form links placing the next strip through the loop and taping closed. The chain should be as long as there are days to a holiday. Start a Thanksgiving chain in early November. Countdown from Thanksgiving to Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Each day, remove a link and read what is written. The chain gets shorter as the holiday arrives. This homemade paper chain is a good counting and calendar lesson for children and keeps them from asking “how many days till…?”
Set up a Thanksgiving holiday crafts table with art supplies readily available. Provide crayons, markers, construction paper, scissors with fancy cutting edges, stampers and stamp pads, tape, stapler and decorations. Set out a bin of recycled paper and plastic scraps. Have preschool kids make one of the holiday crafts each day. Design a homemade Thanksgiving welcome banner for guests. Hang with where people can reach it. Have them write things they are grateful for. Make place cards for Thanksgiving dinner. Make Thanksgiving holiday greeting cards for senior neighbors, friends and family. Decorate recycled grocery bags and fill with canned goods, packaged foods, toilet paper, shampoo and laundry soap for the food pantry. This is a service project and craft project rolled into one!
Make a loving family tree. Teach children how to trace handprints on scrap construction paper. They can write what makes them happy or thankful on each leaf. Then have them arrange on a trunk shape. Or arrange handprints in a circle “holding hands.” Get a large roll of recycled newsprint from the local newspaper office (they will often give you the roll ends). Make paper tablecloth for dinner table. Have children decorate with messages, stickers and works of art. Have them draw place settings on tablecloth to help younger siblings learn to set a table.
Use bingo markers or window cling paint to decorate windows in a Thanksgiving holiday theme. Draw pumpkins, corn, haystacks, Native American Indian scenes, pilgrims, welcome banners and more. Make Thanksgiving themed games on the windows. Or used recycled paper to make Thanksgiving bingo games for after dinner parties.