The Goddard School education experts put together fun and creative family friendly Thanksgiving crafts for kids and families to enjoy while learning what it means to be thankful.
From learning to identify letters to spelling simple words, the number of activities you can do with this simple fall craft are endless. You’ll love spending time outdoors with this fun way to help build your child’s knowledge of letters along with developing their fine motor skills.
- At least 36 leaves;
- A black permanent marker.
- Go on a nature walk with your child and collect leaves. You will need at least one leaf for each letter of the alphabet and some extras.
- Write each letter of the alphabet on a separate leaf.
- Have your child identify the letters, put them in order, trace the letter shapes with a finger and spell out different words. If your child can recognize uppercase and lowercase letters, make a set of each, and have your child match the uppercase letters with the lowercase ones. The possibilities for language and literacy lessons are endless!
Fall Mosaic Wreath
Your child can help you decorate for the season with this fun craft. Besides the fact that children simply love to tear up paper, this is a great way for them to get their creative juices flowing while strengthening their fine motor and pre-writing skills.
- Construction paper in fall colors;
- A paper plate;
- A glue stick;
- String or yarn to hang the wreath.
- Cut out the inside of the paper plate so that the outer ring is left.
- Have your child tear up pieces of construction paper.
- Help your child glue the pieces of construction paper around the paper plate, and talk about the difference between a mosaic, where the pieces of paper don’t touch one another, and a collage, where they can overlap.
- Once the glue is dry, tie the yarn or string around it to hang it up.
These festive lights are perfect for cozy fall nights, and they are a great way to bring nature indoors. Your child will build fine motor skills while following a sequence of steps to create a special candle.
- Clear glass jars;
- Mod Podge;
- A foam paintbrush;
- Battery-operated votive candles.
- Have your child paint one side of the leaves with Mod Podge and place them against the insides of the jars.
- Allow the leaves to dry, and then help your child paint another thin coat of Mod Podge on top of the leaves to help seal them to the jar.
- Once the Mod Podge dries, place a battery-operated votive candle inside the jar and enjoy!
Pine Cone Turkeys
This fun fall craft is a great way to get little ones involved in setting the holiday table and sharing their thankfulness. Along the way, you’ll help your child build processing skills through sensory learning while supporting their development of self-awareness.
- Large, unscented pine cones;
- Construction paper;
- Washable markers;
- Googly eyes;
- Child-safe scissors;
- Trace your child’s hand on a sheet of construction paper, and cut out the handprint.
- Ask your child to share at least five things he or she is thankful for, and write one thing on each finger.
- Write your child’s name on the palm of the hand.
- Draw a small diamond on an orange or yellow sheet of construction paper, and cut it out.
- Fold the diamond in half to create a beak for the turkey. Repeat as necessary for multiple turkeys.
- Glue googly eyes to the tapered end of the pine cone.
- Glue the beak below the googly eyes.
- Insert the handprint between the back scales of the pine cone so that it stands up. If it won’t stay upright, glue the hand to the bottom of the pine cone.
- Have everyone who is coming to your Thanksgiving dinner create a turkey, or make them ahead of time to use as place cards.
Picture Frame Collage
This craft is a wonderful way to help your child understand the concept of thankfulness. Before you begin making the frame, talk to your child about someone your child is grateful to know, and explain that the frame will be a gift for that person. Gift giving supports your child’s development of social awareness and relationship skills.
- An unfinished picture frame;
- Assorted fall-themed materials, such as leaves, acorn caps and colored paper ;
- A picture to include in the frame, such as a photo or a piece of your child’s artwork.
- Remove the back of the frame and the glass, and keep them away from your child’s reach.
- Help your child arrange and glue the fall-themed materials around the frame.
- Set the frame aside to dry, and help your child choose a photo or create a drawing to place in the frame.
- When the glue is dry, replace the glass, place the picture inside the frame and replace the back.
Whether you and your child try all of the crafts on this list or just a few, you’ll both be most thankful for your time together.