Thanksgiving has long been a favored time to break out the crafts box and make trace-your-hand turkeys and construction paper pilgrim hats. Whether you're decorating for a party with friends and family, making crafts for school, or just wanting to keep those little hands busy while you prep for the Big Meal, there are tons of ways you can involve your little ones in some crafts that can be a fun bonding experience. Instead of making something "just to make it", though, consider aiming your kids' talents toward crafting projects that can be both a creative outlet and something that serves some sort of practical purpose rather than just taking up space in a memory box.
A lovely way to add some warmth and color to your home is with something like these autumn leaf mason jar candle holders from Spark and Chemistry. They may look complicated, but in reality all you need is some artificial leaves, mason jars, and mod podge to make this easy yet beautiful craft:
Twine pumpkins like the one below from Recaptured Charm (tutorial here) are an enchanting mix of rustic browns and sparkling golds, and it's much easier than you may think to make your own (dollar store twine, white glue, and a balloon....). Also a great project to do with the kids (who, let's be honest, pretty much love anything with balloons and dipping things in glue), the final product on this one can be used as decor in any season and will last for years.
DRESS UP THE TABLE:
Napkin rings are often a favorite when it comes to Thanksgiving crafts, but even with young hands making them, they can still be something tasteful and pretty. These cute napkin holders from Kids Craft are a great way to engage your children (and save a few bucks) while decorating for your party and are a great way to allow them to make some creative decisions with the individual embellishments:
Papier-mâché gives kids a chance to get messy and have fun while learning a technique that will give them a useful skill for future crafts, school projects, and more. If you want to have a cornucopia as part of your party decor, try your hand at this one from Natalie Raevsky made with raffia over a papier-mâché base:
Now we come to it: the almost-inevitable turkey-themed decor of the season. Often these items are just plain cheesy (and basically something you want to immediately explain was made by your adorable youngster), but with a little effort, you can err on the cute-yet-still-appealing-to-all-eyes side of things.
These adorable place card holders from Hey Let's Make Stuff can be made with either artificial leaves or real ones (in which case you can make “leaf hunting” part of the prep (an activity which can be enjoyed throughout the entire Fall season).
Pretty much everybody loves a party hat, and these super-cute turkey party hats from Crafty Morning are no exception. With a little bit of time, paper, feathers, and a sense of humor, you and your kids can create these very silly and fun headpieces (and add a little bit of flavor to the holiday’s snapshots as well).
However you choose to navigate your family's Thanksgiving crafts, remember to be patient and have fun with it-- this is the season of gratitude, and one of the biggest things to be thankful for is the chance to get creative and enjoy this special your time with your kids... regardless of the project(s), after the raffia is cleared, the markers capped, and the glue washed off little fingers, the memories will remain forever.