Easy & Unique Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids & Pre-schoolers

Crafts with the child for thanksgiving with natural materials: fir cone, feathers, felt. Place for text.

By Drisana Wallace of Modern Cali Mom

This year has definitely changed what fun activities we are able to do with our immediate families. With social distancing I have planned more DIY ideas with my children in order to make up for the change for not being able to see their family and friends. We love crafting, so why not really focus on working on crafts this holiday season as a family and in turn hopefully to start some new traditions. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I wanted to start working on DIY Ideas for Thanksgiving Crafts for kids. Read along as I show you how to create three simple and fun crafts that you can do with your kids at home.  

Thankful Rocks 

The hands of a young toddler child are gently holding an acrylic painted rainbow rock.

Thanksgiving is the time for us to reflect and express gratitude for what we have. I love taking this time of the year to look around us and write down what we are thankful for. It glorifies the fact that no matter the circumstances we may be under we can always find something to be thankful for.  Finding ways to incorporate writing what we are thankful for in crafts are my favorite DIY projects.  

What You Will Need:  

  • Small-medium sized flat rocks  
  • Washable paint 
  • Paint Brush  
  • Paint Markers 

Step 1: Clean your rocks and make sure they are dry before you go to the next step. 

Step 2: Paint the rock a solid color and or draw an image (i.e. a flower or rainbow). If you choose to draw on the rock leave room beneath it in order to write a word. Let the paint dry.  

Step 3: Once the paint has dried write down one thing that you are thankful for on each rock. I love engaging the kids on these too. Both my kids are unable to write a word without assistance, but my eldest is able to tell me things she is thankful for. She has a long list, so that makes these projects even more fun and meaningful to us.  

Final Step: Display in your garden, kitchen or patio.   

Scarecrow (Made out of a Paper Plate)   

My kids love our real life scarecrows we have in our front yard, so it was a no brainer that they would love making their very own scarecrows that they can display proudly inside of our home. This was such a fun, simple and quick craft that my toddlers absolutely love.  

What You Will Need:  

  • Plate 
  • Tan, brown and orange construction paper 
  • Googly craft eyes 
  • Raffia 
  • Tacky Glue 
  • 1 flower (Yellow or orange flower recommended)  

Step 1: Use the tan construction paper to cut out a circle the size of the paper plate. Glue that circle onto the plate. Let dry. 

Step 2: Cut a handful of raffia and use the tacky glue to glue onto the top of the plate. The raffia will be the hair of the scarecrow.  Let dry.   

Step 3: Use the brown construction paper to cut a hat shape for your scarecrow. Once you have cut the hat, apply the glue to the plate and attach the brown shaped hat over the raffia. Let dry. 

Step 4: Apply a small amount of glue onto the middle of the hat and attach your flower.  

Step 5: Apply googly craft eyes.  

Step 6: Use the brown construction paper to cut a triangle shape for the scarecrow’s nose. Apply nose with glue to the plate. 

Step 7:  Use the orange construction paper to cut a smile shape to be used for the scarecrow’s mouth. Apply mouth with glue to the plate.  

Final Step: Last, but not least, I highly encourage you to display your artwork at least for the season that you are in. I have seen that this encourages the kids to craft more with me. 

Paper Bag Thankful Turkey Puppets  

My youngest absolutely loves puppets and finds them hysterical. My daughter loves using the puppets to make baby brother laugh, so definitely end this project with a puppet show. This is such a fun project to make and to be able to use for entertainment. I can that a double whammy mom win!  

What You Will Need:  

  • Brown lunch bag  
  • Googly craft eyes 
  • Colorful Feathers 
  • Orange construction paper 
  • Small red balloon  
  • Tape 
  • Glue  
  • Colorful Markers  

Step 1: Turn paper bag upside down and make sure the rectangle is facing you. This will be referred to as the front of the turkey. Start by applying the googly craft eyes into the rectangle at the top of the bag.  

Step 2: Blow up the small red balloon slightly and glue onto the rectangle portion of the bag. This will be your turkey’s neck. Your kids will get really excited with the balloon. My kiddos love balloons and they screech in excitement when we get to this step.   

Step 3: Use the orange construction paper to cut out a nose for your turkey. Glue the nose near the turkey’s neck (red balloon). 

Step 4: Apply colorful feathers to the back of the bag. Let dry. 

Step 5:  Use the marker to either write your child’s name and/or write down what they are thankful for. Here is another great opportunity to discuss the meaning of Thanksgiving and showing gratitude to your blessings big or small.    

Final Step: Have your very own puppet show! Take turns on telling stories with your very own turkey puppet. Make sure to take photos and videos.

Be Thankful Banner 

No better way to express what we are thankful for than Thanksgiving and writing out each blessing. Whenever I have the opportunity to focus a craft on writing affirmations or what we are thankful it makes this mama so happy. 

What You Will Need:  

Step 1: With scissors cut the different colored construction into strips. Each strip should be 2” by 10”. Cut as many as you like. The more you make the longer your banner will be.  

Step 2: With the colorful markers write down one thing you are thankful for on each strip.  

Step 3: Bend each colored paper strip into a circular shape. Use tape to keep the circular shape. 

Step 4: After the first paper strip is bent and taped bend and tape the rest while you weave into each other to make a chain looking banner.  

Final Step: Use for decoration on Thanksgiving Day or display in the playroom.  

Picture Perfect Turkey 

If you are like me you probably have tons of photos of your children. I love this craft because the kids get to see their photo on a turkey’s body.  

What You Will Need:  

  • Brown 
  • Small photo of your child’s head only  
  • Feathers 
  • Tacky Glue 
  • White Construction Paper 

Step 1: Apply brown paint onto your child’s hands including fingers.  

Step 2: Hold your child’s hand down over the white construction paper to form a hand print of a turkey shape onto the paper. 

Step 3: Apply tacky glue to the feathers and press onto your child’s fingerprints.  

Step 4: Apply tacky glue to your child’s photo and glue down over the top of your child’s thumb fingerprint.  

Final Step: Display turkey anywhere that your child is able to see it.  

I highly recommend finding a way to use googly craft eyes on Thanksgiving crafts for kids. The kids have so much fun using them.   I think that it brings the project to life and I definitely have seen when I don’t use googly eyes they ask me why we are not using them! I highly recommend purchasing a large bag of them for future projects

Hopefully you found these three ideas for Thanksgiving crafts for kids super simple and fun for you and your family to try at home.  Check out these awesome arts and craft products that you can use to hopefully encourage you to do more DIY arts and crafts with your kids at home.  

Drisana Wallace

Drisana (Dris for short) Wallace built https://www.moderncalimom.com/ to bring together a community of mothers that had similar interests as it takes a village. As a content contributor for brands such as Fabletics, General Mills, PBS Kids, Pink Blush Maternity and more, she blogs about all things motherhood and lifestyle. I love the positive impact that Modern Cali Mom has in building a community. I love coffee, traveling and staying active with my little family – my husband, D, my daughter Danica, my son Dylan, and our dog, Duke!

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