Encourage your children to appreciate the meaning behind Thanksgiving by featuring crafts that highlight the fun aspects of turkey day along with values that this holiday represents. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 can easily make creative Thanksgiving projects. Use their finished projects to showcase on your mantel or fridge, so you and your guests can enjoy their creations on the big day.
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Thanksgiving Leaf Art
Take the children outside to collect fall leaves that have fallen on the ground or go to the craft store and buy fake leaves. Give the children markers and white card stock paper and encourage them to draw a Thanksgiving scene with pilgrims and Native Americans or a turkey. Help them glue the leaves on the page as well as a decorative border or part of the picture. The children can even draw faces on the leaves. Glue sticks and small pebbles on the page as well. Small children ages 2 to 3 may simply scatter the leaves on the page in addition to scribbling, while 4- and 5-year-olds might use sticks to make a fence and draw people next to leaf houses.
Kids ages 2 through 5 enjoy making projects with their hands. The fingerprint turkey craft works well for this age group because it gives them the opportunity to create an entire turkey out of fingerprints. Give each child white or orange card stock, non-toxic brown ink pads, and markers. Help them make a turkey by pressing one finger at a time onto the ink pads to create a body, feathers and a head. Use markers to draw the turkey's eyes, beak and legs.
Handprint turkey crafts work well for children ages 2 through 5 because the craft is simple, and older kids can easily modify it and use more elaborate crafting techniques using feathers and other materials. Help the kids trace their hands on red or orange construction paper and cut out the shape with scissors. Give them markers and help them draw a turkey face on the thumb area of the handprint. Cut a beak out of yellow construction paper and glue it on the end of the thumb. Use red paper for a gobbler. You can also give the kids feathers to glue on the other fingers.
Children ages 2 through 5 enjoy painting simple animals. Help the kids make their own turkey painting for Thanksgiving. Buy non-toxic paint and show them how to paint a turkey. Once the paint is dry, help them glue feathers on the turkey and rocks, sticks and other materials from nature on the landscape that the turkey is on.
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