Halloween is officially over and it's time to continue the holiday season. Cheery Santa decorations and Christmas trees of every color fill stores across the world; but, what about Thanksgiving? It seems many of us forget about this amazing and unique holiday as we frantically begin buying Christmas gifts and anxiously await the constant stream of Christmas movies on television. What better way to be thankful than to spend quality time with our loved ones? Here are some crafty and silly ways to make this Thanksgiving season one to remember.
1. Turkey Hands
This classic and simple craft is a quick little way to get your children off the couch and get creative. These can be done with various materials such as paint (as seen above), construction paper, google eyes, crayons, etc. It is a great way to keep your little one's handprint for years to come. I know my own mother still has one of my turkey hands from years ago. They can be presented anywhere for decoration, from walls around the house to the side of your work desk.
2. Pioneer Letters
If you want your kids to learn about what life was like when the first Thanksgiving took place, this is a great way to do exactly that. You can do this in a variety of ways. One way I did this in a classroom as a child is we were told to write letters to our parents as if we were living as pilgrims. We were given plenty of ideas. From writing about farm life to our sea voyage, it was a great way to really open up our imaginations.
Once the letter is written, boil hot water and place tea bags in them. Once they have sat for a few minutes, go over the letter with the bags. Let them dry for about an hour or so. This makes the paper look brown and old. Once it is dry, you can even have your children cringe the paper up, making it look even more like it was written hundreds of years ago. Producing these letters really opens up your children's imaginations, helping them to understand how the pilgrims wrote letters to their families and loved ones long ago.
3. Pilgrim Plates
Using only paper plates, you and your family can create your very own pilgrims. These can be as simple or elaborate as you and your children desire. They can be displayed anywhere, and are a great way to get your children engaged in some free-hand drawing. Make them look silly, happy, whatever you wish. Using construction paper for the accessories, such as hats, bonnets, clothes (if you make them full body), and much more is one way to bring even more creativity into the project.
4. Homemade Thanksgiving Cookbook
This is a project you could do over the course of a week, a few days, whatever works for you and your family. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, try implementing homemade or "thanksgiving" dishes into your weekly meals. Cook these together as a family. As you do this, have your children write the recipes down. A good example would be baking a pie together. These cookbooks can be made out of anything, from construction paper to cardboard. Anything works. Encourage your children to make them as creative as possible, adding stickers, drawings of the food, and even a section where they an write a brief review of their creation. The possibilities with this craft are endless, and you can do it anyway you see fit. Get cooking!
5. Clothespin Wreath
Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the things we have. A great way to help your children really think about what they are thankful for is to create a "thankfulness wreath." Using clothespins laying around the house is a very easy way to achieve this. You can paint or color them with markers to really give the wreath a beautiful presence wherever you decide to put it on display. These are easy to hang up anywhere, from the front door to the kitchen. The possibilities are endless with this project.