Does your child long to help you in the kitchen? Is he or she always trying to frost the cookies, stuff the turkey, or guard the pumpkin pie? Even though we can really use the help, sometimes the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day is not the best place for a child. In fact, on this day it can be a very dangerous place for children. Here are some fabulously fun activities that will help you keep children occupied and away from the kitchen on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids
before Thanksgiving so your kids (and family and friends) can show off their handiwork!
Sam's Mom did a "Thankful Turkey" craft with her son which is really cute!
- 1 toilet paper roll
- 1 plastic bowl
- assorted colors of construction paper
We started by cutting feathers in different colors and then wrote on them some of things my son is thankful for in his life. We then taped the "feathers" around the back of the bowl. Glue might have looked a bit nicer, but we aren't that patient or picky!
After the feathers were added to the bowl, we started on the body. My son drew eyes for the turkey and we used a small piece of yellow paper glued on as the nose. For the feet, we traced my sons hand and cut out the shape. This then got taped onto the body. We even created a (fairly lame) hat for the turkey. The body got taped to the bowl and we were all done!
Or have the kids make their very own to help keep them out of your hair (and your kitchen).
- construction paper
- scissors for children
Lay out the
supplies so that the kids can create whatever they want. Some fun ideas
for the place mats are a picture of the Indians and Pilgrims first
Thanksgiving feast or of a beautiful Indian headdress. You can also buy
large beads and yarn and tell the children to make their own necklaces
just like the beautiful jewelry that the Indians wore.
- Brown Paper Bags,
- Scrap Construction Paper,
Cut two circles out of paper bags; one about 5 inches and one about 3 inches. Cut out a strip (about 1 inch by 3-4 inches) and accordion fold it. Glue one end toward the top of the large circle and the other end in the middle of the small circle. Cut an oval (about 2 inches by 4-5 inches) to be the head and neck. Glue it to the middle of the small circle. From the scrap construction paper, cut out feathers on glue them to the top edge of the large circle. Color on eyes, beak, etc.
- Paper Bag,
- Optional Materials (see below)
Cut a vest from the paper bag, cut a slit up the front and neck and arm holes. To decorate, either cut out construction paper shape (arrows, sun, designs, etc.) and glue them on, or, use potatoes to paint them (slice potato in half, cut design into potatoes, dip in paint and print onto vest).
- Brown Construction Paper,
- Stapler or Tape
- Scrap Construction Paper
Cut brown construction paper into strips, fit it around child's head and staple or tape ends together. Cut feathers out of scrap construction paper and glue or staple onto headband.
- Toilet Paper Roll,
- Construction Paper
Cover roll with black paper. Cut a small circle, draw a face on it, and glue it onto the roll. Other things to add: arms, feet hair hat brim, apron, etc. You can also make Indians and turkeys this way.
Hand Print Turkey
- Heavy Paper,
- Brown Paint
Dip child's hand in paint, and make a handprint on the paper (make sure the fingers are spread). Draw on a beak and glue on feathers. We have also added beads for eyes.
- Oatmeal Box or any can with a lid,
- Construction Paper,
- Rubber Bands,
Cut a piece of construction paper to fit around can. Draw "Indian" designs on it, and tape it onto can. Cut 2 circles out of construction paper about an inch bigger than the lid. Put it over the top and bottom of the can, and use rubber bands to hold it on.
Paper Bag Turkey
- Brown Paper Bags,
- Scrap Construction Paper,
Stuff the paper bag with newspaper, leaving about 3 inches to fold shut. Try to fold it so both ends look the same and then glue it shut. Cut out feather shapes and glue onto bag. Draw and cut out turkey head and neck; making two tabs where the base of the neck will be. Fold one tab forward and one tab back and attach it to the bag
- Paper Grocery Bags,
Cut the paper bag so you can flatten it. Cut out the cornucopia cone shape, add a circle to the "open" end. Color it if desired. Cut out pictures of fruit from magazines and glue them onto circle of the horn.
- Egg Cartons,
- Scrap Paper,
- Beads, etc.,
Cut egg cartons into 4 rows of 3 cups. Glue 2 sections together, back to back, to form the totem pole. Decorate as desired.
Tree of Thanks
- 2 Paper Grocery Bags,
- Construction Paper (fall Colors),
- Markers or Pencils,
Cut open the grocery bags so it lays flat. Cut out a tree trunk with branches. Use colored paper and cut out leaf shapes. Have everyone write for what they are thankful on the leaves, and hang them on the tree.
Acitivities for the Kids
If your children refuse to leave you alone and are really begging to help with the food let them decorate cookies. After the dough is rolled out (depending on their ages), let the kids cut out sugar cookies in the shapes of leaves, turkeys, acorns, apples, etc. They can sprinkle different colored sugars all over the cookies too. After the cookies are done baking let them help frost the cookies as well.
Some fun games for kids to play on Thanksgiving are:
Make up Bingo cards before the guests arrive. Draw a grid and then fill in things related to Thanksgiving, mixing them up for each card. You might include:
- Is going shopping tomorrow (The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year).
- Is wearing red tonight.
- Doesn't like sweet potatoes.
- Loves pumpkin pie.
- Knows what s/he's getting for the holidays already.
- Has at least one thing to be thankful for.
- Ate too much at the last party.
- Is wearing a new outfit tonight.
- Watches football games on Thanksgiving.
- Made Thanksgiving dinner at least once.
- Eats more that 4 pieces of turkey on Thanksgiving.
And so on. Make small cards to match the items on the grid. Gather the guests and hand out the cards along with a handful of candy. Pick a card from the pile and read the statement. If anyone can answer "yes" to the statement, they get to put a candy in the square. The 1st person to connect 5 in a row wins!
Divide guests into teams, and give them a list of Thanksgiving related items to locate, either around the house or around the neighborhood. The team with the most items found wins.
Turkey in the Lineup:
Get a picture of a turkey but keep it hidden from the guests until game time. Give everyone pencil and paper and have them write down every detail they remember about the turkey's appearance. After 3 minutes, call time. Show the picture of the turkey and see how many details they got right. The one with the most wins the prize.
Pin the Tail on Timmy Turkey:
Give each child a turkey tail to decorate. Then blindfold each child, and have him/her try to stick the tail on Timmy the Turkey. The child who comes closest to putting the tail in the right place wins a prize. Prizes may also be awarded for the "most creative", "most colorful" etc. tails.
Keep the kids happy, entertained, and away from the turkey (at least until it's cooked)!