Parenting Today Presented by The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and planning the decorations is (almost) as important as the food! Let your kids get in on the fun by helping to craft some of the festive décor this year.
Whether you’re using their creations as a centerpiece or displaying them by the front door, these five crafts will get your kids and your guests in the holiday spirit.
This craft is easy, inexpensive, and whimsical! Get several free paint chip samples from your local hardware store in shades of orange and collect either burlap scraps or any brown craft paper. Let the older kids cut the paint chips into triangles and glue on strips of burlap at the top for crust. Place a cotton ball in the middle for whipped cream, and voila! These pumpkin pie crafts would be perfect as decorations on a dessert table.
Thanksgiving is all about friends, family, fun, and being thankful. Make the gratitude tangible this year by asking your kids to make a gratitude tree. They can start by collecting twigs from the yard or park. Branches with lots of small notches for hanging string are the best kind, so tell them to leave the smooth ones for another day. Next, print the leaf template on various colored papers (or freehand your own!) and have the older kids cut them out. Punch holes in the top of each leaf and then thread string through. Have guests write what they’re thankful for on the leaves and hang on the branches for an interactive and stunning centerpiece!
If you have pumpkins left over from your Halloween and earlier autumn décor, repurpose them for this Thanksgiving craft that’s perfect for kids to tackle independently. Have each child decorate a turkey face with markers or paint, then glue paper “feathers” on the back. The older kids can help cut feathers from colored paper and make notches in the edges for a textured look. For the youngest ones, let them paint their turkey pumpkins rather than gluing and drawing faces. These pumpkins make a great centerpiece or place cards!
Sometimes, kids’ crafts lead to an abundance of small, tiny things you have to find places to display. This turkey windsock is a great craft option because it’s large, and you can use it for decorating some often-overlooked spots. Try displaying it on the back porch, front door, or even a hanging plant hook in the guest bathroom! This craft is also a great one to make on Thanksgiving DAY to keep the kids busy. You’ll use recycled tin cans as the windsock base, so don’t feel guilty serving canned yams and green beans this year! Let the kids decorate their cans with whatever turkey features they’d like (including googly eyes, nose, and waddle). Then, arrange feathers and paper for the turkey’s plumage. Attach ribbons or strips of tissue paper along the bottom in festive colors for the windsock effect—and you’re finished!
If you’re looking for a way to keep little hands busy preparing décor for the big celebration, try these beaded corn cobs. Harvest corn comes in so many beautiful shades and varieties that kids can pick almost any color combination they’d like and still be authentic (although there’s also nothing wrong with pink and purple polka-dotted cobs!). Using four tan pipe cleaners, line them up and twist in the middle to form eight short arms to bead. Alternate and arrange colored beads however you’d like, leaving about an inch of pipe cleaner free at each end. When your beading is done, gather the eight strands, twist together at the top, and you have a corn cob! Fluff your end pieces a bit for a corn tassel feel, then let the kids place them around for festive decorations!
Your kids will love taking the lead on these crafts, and you’ll feel proud to display them as part of your festive holiday décor!
Parenting Today is presented by The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) serves children ages 0-12 with 200+ providers across the City. Learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 386-1050.