My 5 Favorite Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

By Serena Piper

Halloween is officially over. Isn’t it crazy how fast time can fly? Pretty soon Thanksgiving will be here and it’ll be time for festive feasts and family gatherings.

My favorite part about the holidays, besides cooking mouth-watering meals, is the decorating. As part of my job, I work with kids. We do fun crafts every time we see each other and by the time the holiday has come, we have quite a collection built up. I love seeing their excited faces after their project is complete; they love having something cool to show their parents. It reminds me of when I was little and how proud I would be when my mom took one of my works of “art” and stuck it to the fridge for all to see.

As Thanksgiving inches closer, there are numerous crafts you can do with your children to give them that feeling too, and some you can even place right at the dining table! Here are my top five favorites!

Toilet Paper Roll Turkey

Cut feather shapes out of orange, yellow, and red construction paper and tape them on the back of an empty toilet paper roll. Glue googly eyes and an orange construction paper nose and feet on the front. Wanna spice this turkey up even more? Buy some fake feathers from a craft store to incorporate in with the paper ones. See Toilet Paper Roll Turkey.

Felt Leaf Garland

Using different-colored pieces of felt (green, yellow, red, brown), trace real-life leaves or freehand leaf shapes onto them. Cut them out and thread them to each other (as shown in the photo). The directions say to use a sewing machine to trace the leaf veins, but you can also use black Sharpie. See Felt Leaf Garland.

Assorted buttons for Thanksgiving crafts with kids
Assorted buttons for Thanksgiving crafts, photo copyright Laineys Repertoire

Button Indian Corn Napkin Rings

A great conversation piece, these napkin rings will look great on your dining room table all throughout the month of November. Cut a 4-by-5-inch piece of felt and glue 12 Popsicle sticks to it side-by-side. There should be room at each end for them to overlap when you roll it up into a ring. Now glue on rows of colored buttons resembling that of an ear of corn! See Button Indian Corn Napkin Rings.

Thankful Tree

A bare tree branch stuck in a small flower pot full of art sand (or popcorn kernels) makes for a great “give thanks” tree. You can cut leaf shapes from colored paper, craft foam, or felt. Have each family member write what they’re thankful for in permanent marker on one of the leaves, slip a paper clip onto it and hang it from the tree. See Thankful Tree.

Edible Cornucopia

Just because Halloween is over, that doesn’t mean the sugary treats can’t continue! This delectable cornucopia, once boiled so the end can curl in, is filled with m&ms, candy corn, and assorted nuts. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert! See Edible Cornucopia.

Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

How To Create Crayon Art

By Lexi Reeve

I’ve seen a lot of pictures recently of this type of crayon art on Pinterest and felt inspired to try it! Thankfully it’s not that difficult to implement and the results are beautiful. There are many variations of crayon art currently circulating around the Internet, but the one I’m going to tell you how to do is simply melted crayons on canvas.

Step 1: Find a canvas at a local art supply store. I went to Aaron Brothers to find my canvas. They have a lot of sales and two for one deals so it’s always a safe bet. I chose a canvas that was wider rather than longer because I like the effect of the melted crayons covering the entire art piece.

Step 2: Buy a box of crayons. I wanted a variety of different colors so I went to Michaels and got their box of 24 crayons. I then placed my crayons on the top edge of the canvas and moved them around until I had them in the order I wanted. I wanted the pink to be in the middle (it’s my favorite color) so I started there and continued to the ends with each color matching on either side. However, a lot of people chose to ascend the colors in the style of a rainbow, so that’s always an option.

Step 3: Find a glue gun. Once you have selected the pattern of your crayons, start gluing them onto the canvas using a hot glue gun. It’s the only way that they’ll stay on once you start blow drying them. Once they’re on the canvas, let them cool for a while so that the glue can dry.

Step 4: Start blow-drying! But first, remember to set down newspaper under your canvas so that you don’t get crayon wax everywhere! Once that’s done, find an old hair dryer to melt the crayons. It will take a while for the hair dryer to heat up enough to start melting the wax, so be patient! To create the effect you want, you can either aim your hair dryer to the side of the crayons to create a splatter effect, or straight on if you want the crayons to melt downward. Have fun with it! Once you’ve melted the crayons, let the canvas cool so that you don’t accidentally drip wax everywhere.

Step 5: Select a place to hang your art!

This project is so much fun to do, it’s inexpensive to make, and it looks great! It is a perfect project to do with children because it doesn’t require a lot of time. Whatever you do, just have fun with it and be creative!

Toddler Boredom Busters: Soap, Music, and Birds

By Kristen

I’ve been told that when I was little I was out of control, always searching for new stuff to do. Can you imagine? A 4-year-old running around touching and playing with everything she can get her hands on? I mean, let’s be honest, this is the sign of a healthy child. It is important for all children to explore and learn with their hands.

A couple of days ago, I stumbled onto a site that is written by Lauren Mira, a mother of twins who writes about her children and her life. Mira is a graduate from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where she specialized in visual communications and graphic design. When her hands are not full, she is creating fun, easy, and safe ways for her children to explore, create and play. Her personal blog, Mixie Studio, is filled with tons of crafts and inspirations for everyone, especially children.

One of my favorite blog posts on her site is “Keeping the Kids Busy: Toddler Boredom Busters!” Here are some of the crafts and activities that she recommends in this post to help your children keep busy during the summer days:

1) Playing with soapy water – This is one easy way for children to have fun and stay clean. Mira suggests using different cups and bowls filled with soapy water so children can play by pouring different amounts of water into various cups. Bring out funnels and spray bottles to amp up the fun. Your children will be busy for hours, and it’s also mom friendly!

2) Easy bird feeders – Save your toilet paper rolls! Use them for bird feeders: have your children cover the rolls in peanut butter and roll them in bird seeds, it’s cheap, simple and fun.

3) Make a music bin – Children love making noises! So fill a bin with assorted instruments, noisemakers, and old pots and pans for them to play with. Kids will love pulling out everyday items to make music.

These are just some of Mira’s tips on breaking boredom; to check out more, visit her site!