20 Fun Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Busy
These easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids are just the thing to keep your littlest guests occupied ahead of your family's feast.
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Getting crafty on the big day
Thanksgiving is all about family, football, food…and waiting. Lots of it. Even adults can get antsy waiting around for the turkey, and, well, kids aren’t known for their patience. Plus, with all of the grown-up talk and fancy outfits, it can be a recipe for kiddie disaster. Thankfully, there’s a solution: these simple Thanksgiving crafts for kids that will keep them entertained, occupied, and happy. So, Thanksgiving hosts take note—and make sure the little turkeys at your holiday celebration are as well taken care of as the older ones. And while you’re planning the day’s activities, consider including one (or more) of these 9 meaningful Thanksgiving traditions that everyone will love.
Turkey pretzel sticks
What’s better than a yummy Thanksgiving treat that the kids can make but you can all share? For these Thanksgiving crafts, dip pretzel rods in melted chocolate or peanut butter. Use candy eyeballs for the eyes and candy corn for the feathers and nose. These darling little turkeys will make fun after-dinner treats for kids and adults, and the little ones will feel proud to be contributing to the celebration. What else should you serve for dessert? Try one of these 25 delicious apple pie recipes for your Thanksgiving feast.
As far as Thanksgiving crafts for kids go, this one might just take the cake. This activity will get the kids outside as they hunt for colorful leaves. Encourage them to look for leaves in a fun assortment of sizes, colors, and textures. Once they’ve gathered their materials, give the kids glue and a large sheet of paper—and let them have at it! There’s no right or wrong way to create a leaf mosaic. Once their creations are dry, you can use them as temporary placemats on the kiddie table. Make the placements last a bit longer by laminating them with laminating paper. Just make sure you have the supplies well ahead of time, and follow this official Thanksgiving timeline to make sure you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
The best Thanksgiving crafts for kids are the ones that serve a dual purpose: This one will keep the kids busy and also produce a pretty centerpiece. Plus, it’s eco-friendly. Pine cones are a fun, natural crafting medium that can be used for a variety of projects. For this one, make sure that your pine cones are clean and dry before use. The bottom of the pine cone will be the flower, so you will need to cut off all the pieces from the top of the pine cone about halfway down. (Adults will need to help littles with the cutting.) Give the kiddos acrylic paint to color the little flowers any shades they like. Once dried, place the pine-cone flowers into a shallow bowl and use it as a festive centerpiece. These funny Turkey Day helpline calls will brighten up your holiday.
Just ask the squirrels: Autumn is the best time for forage in the yard for nuts! Acorns, in particular, are perfect for creating mini animals. If you don’t have access to nuts in the yard, no worries. In the fall, grocery stores are stocked with nuts of all shapes and sizes. Just stick with the semi-soft-shelled varieties, like chestnuts, so the kids can easily pierce the shells with toothpicks. If you are up to your knees in these seasonal nuts, check out 8 more things you can make with all of those acorns.
Maggy at Red Ted Art has created many Thanksgiving crafts for kids. One favorite? These paper leaves that are perfect for Thanksgiving and fall. Made with a square piece of paper of any type, these leaves are a cinch to make and can even be used to create colorful leaf garlands. If you’re in a DIY state of mind, check out these 26 Thanksgiving place cards you’ll want on your table.
Paper-roll Pilgrims and Indians
Upcycled crafts are great activities for kids since they teach them not to be wasteful and to be kind to the environment. Use empty paper towels or toilet paper rolls to make this adorable little Pilgrim and Indian set. The entire craft uses just craft paper, scissors, glue, and markers. Create an entire village and re-create the first Thanksgiving on your dinner table. Speaking of the Pilgrims and Indians, did you know that these 15 Thanksgiving “facts” aren’t actually true?
This sweet little turkey is the perfect craft for your little bookworms to keep their reading spots safe and secure. Maggy of Red Ted Art creates her turkey book-corner bookmark entirely out of paper. And who knows—with a craft this cute, you just may turn non-readers into book fans. Another way to keep the kids busy on the big day? Telling them about these 16 mind-blowing facts about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade while you watch it on TV.
Looking for an activity that will get the kids outside—and off their electronics? These pine-cone turkeys are the perfect Thanksgiving crafts for kids since they’re easy to create with foraged items from your yard. Search for medium to large pine cones and large, colorful leaves. Use paper to create the turkey’s head and feet. Secure all the pieces onto the pine cone with school glue. The pine-cone turkeys will look adorable lining your mantle, entry table, or as an impromptu table runner on the dinner table. Need more centerpiece inspiration? Try one of these 10 easy crafts to brighten any Thanksgiving table.
Leaves make wonderful natural palettes for painting—and this craft produces a particularly gorgeous effect. First, find large leaves that have recently fallen and are not too brittle. Then apply a base coat of acrylic paint onto the leaves and let it dry. The kids can paint abstract designs on the leaves with paint pens, gel pens, or with a contrasting color of acrylic paint. Apply a layer of decoupage on the top of the finished artwork to help preserve the artwork. If these crafts aren’t enough to keep the kids busy, try 10 of the best Thanksgiving games for kids.
Let your child show off some Thanksgiving style by helping make this adorable turkey ring. Use it as a finger puppet or just a fashion statement. Find out how to make one at I Heart Crafty Things.
Pony bead corn
This charming turkey is cute enough to be a centerpiece at your Thanksgiving feast. The best part? You can finally use up any scraps of leftover ribbon you have lying around. Visit I Heart Crafty Things to find the instructions.
Thanksgiving crafts for kids like this one can do more than just occupy them for a while. Help your children remember the heart behind the holiday by creating this appreciation pumpkin. You and your kids will have a great time counting your blessings, and you can keep it for years to come. Find out how to make one from The Moffatt Girls. By the way, this is what happens when little kids learn the importance of giving.
Paper roll turkey
Pilgrim hat crayon cup
Thanksgiving crafts for kids like this one can be both fun, and useful. Prep this fun pilgrim hat cup with your kids before the big day, then let them stash their crayons there while working on Thanksgiving coloring and activity books. Find out how to make one at Lil’ Luna.
Cereal corn craft
This cob gives a new definition to corn-based cereal. Pick out the fall-colored O’s from your breakfast bowl, and turn them into this fun craft. Learn how from The Simple Parent. You can do a craft like this no matter where you’re celebrating Thanksgiving. If you’re away from home this year, check out these 7 other ways to make celebrating Thanksgiving overseas truly special.
Skip the feather headbands, and create these festive fall crowns for this year’s Thanksgiving feast. Use fabric leaves if you want it to last the season, or make an afternoon of gathering fallen leaves with your kids. Head over to Made Everyday for the directions.
Thanksgiving crafts for kids don’t have to be complicated. Here’s a new kind of turkey trot. Make your turkey foot stamps waddle down the page, or stamp them randomly for a fun pattern. Visit Fun-a-Day to find out more. Happy, healthy kids are certainly a reason to give thanks. Here are 50 more reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving.
Salt dough leaves
Before you get too busy in the kitchen, start a salt dough recipe. While you’re rolling out the pie crust, your kids will love mashing up their own dough with festive leaf stamps. Get more information from The Life of Jennifer Dawn.
K-Cup pilgrim hats
Hooked on coffee? Clean out those extra K-Cup pods and turn them into these festive pilgrim hats. Get the full instructions for these adorable thanksgiving crafts from Cross Country Café. Now that you’ve got the kid thing figured out, don’t miss these 16 other tricks for keeping your sanity if you’re hosting Thanksgiving.