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Arts & Crafts: Holidays > Thanksgiving

added 9-30-98
Original Author Unknown

Need: Corn cob, paint, cardboard box, paper

Directions: Make placemats with the children. Take corn cobs (kids love shelling off popcorn and popping it for snack time) dipped in paint and roll corn cob on 9X18 construction paper. The designs are amazing. Different sized corn cobs can be used for variety. I usually paint these in cardboard boxes, to help cut down on the mess. Let pages dry. Add colored leaf cutouts, pilgrim hats cutouts, or turkey cutouts with the child's name (or symbol) on them. Laminate and use for snack time and
Thanksgiving feast.

Indian corn added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: Tissue paper, paper, glue

Directions: Take tissue paper (red, yellow orange brown, and shades of those colors) and cut them into squares. Give each child a piece of paper that looks like an ear of corn. Then let them either crunch up and glue on the tissue paper, or just place it flat on. When they dry add tissue paper husks. They are so bright! Before the project let the children play with and feel Indian corn.

Big Turkey added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: Brown craft paper, construction paper, markers

Directions: Make a large Turkey out of brown craft paper. Make a bunch of large colored feathers out of construction paper and place them all around the turkey On each feather glue a piece of white paper onto it that says: "child's name" "IS
THANKFUL FOR" and then a blank line under that. During circle time one morning, have a discussion on what everyone is thankful for and write children's name and response on the feathers. The parents and the kids really enjoy it.

Stained Glass Turkeys added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: Brown paint, Paper plates, 3 large sheets of brown construction paper, Orange construction paper, Red construction paper, Tissue paper, Glue

Directions: To make the turkey you will need to cut five large feathers out of brown
construction paper, then approximately 1 inch in from the edge of the feather, cut the center out. Cut feather shapes out of tissue paper; glue to one side of feather. Paint the paper plate brown. Cut turkey head out and attach to paper plate. Cut beak and feet from the orange paper. Red is for around the beak. These turkeys look very nice attached to a glass door so the sun can shine through.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: paper, craft sticks or toothpicks, large potato

Directions: Use multi-colored feathers or feather shapes with toothpicks or craft sticks attached to them. Make a turkey head and attach a stick. Insert the feathers
and head into a large potato. Makes a cute centerpiece.

Multi-Colored Turkey Hand added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: Paint, paper, marker

Directions: Paint the child's palm brown and then paint each finger using one color for
each finger: red, green, yellow, and orange. Have child press hand on piece of paper. After the paint dries you can add the eye, beak, and that little red dangly thing under the beak.

Spice Turkeys added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: paper, glue, spices

Directions: Trace each child's hand on paper. Let them "paint" glue on palm and fingers with brush. Let them sprinkle on different Thanksgiving spices on fingers -
nutmeg, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, or the like. Let them smell the scents of a Thanksgiving dinner.

Native American Vests added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: Markers, T-Shirt paint, burlap

Directions: Have children choose a Native American name to use in the classroom during the course of study relating to Native Americans (Dancing Raccoon, Little Bear, Pretty Flower). Using markers and T-shirt paint, have children illustrate their name on burlap vests. Native American symbols can also be used to decorate the vests. Burlap that is purchased by the yard works great. Simply cut doubled burlap into 12" pieces and make an opening for the child's head.

In Step With Thanksgiving added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: paper, old shoes, paper plates, paint

Directions: For wall mural or individual purposes. Draw outline of turkey, side view.
Take old, used shoes, have paper plates and paint ready for dipping. After the kids have colored in their turkeys, have them take their shoes, dip in paint, and press paint for turkey feathers. This is adorable as a bulletin board and can be laminated and made into place mats for Thanksgiving. Add the above caption.

Sponge Painting Feathers added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: Sponges, paint, paper

Directions: Cut feather shapes from sponges. Be sure to vary the size and include the small stem on the end. Use these to sponge paint with fall colors on large sheets of paper.

Paper Bag Turkeys added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: paper bag, newspaper, yarn, paint. paper

Directions: Give each child a brown paper grocery bag (any size) and several sheets of newspaper. Have the children crumple the sheets of newspaper and stuff them into their bags until the bags are half full. Twist the bags closed and tie them around the middle with pieces of yarn. To make tails for their paper bag turkeys, have the children make several cuts from the top edges of their bags down to the yarn ties. Let the children paint their turkey tails. Then give each child a precut turkey head shape to decorate. Attach the head shapes to the front of the bags to complete the turkeys.

Collage Turkeys added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: paper, fabric, glue, crayons or markers

Directions: Cut turkey shapes out of construction paper. Give each child a turkey shape and scraps of colorful construction paper or fabric. Have them glue the pieces of construction paper or fabric on their turkey shapes to make colored feathers. Let them use crayons or markers to finish the turkey's features.

The First Thanksgiving added 9-30-98 Original Author Unknown

Need: Butcher paper, crayons or markers

Directions: Tack a long sheet of butcher paper to the wall. Tell the children the story
of the first Thanksgiving. Let the children tell you what they are thankful for. As each child shares why they are thankful write it on the paper. Tack the list on your classroom door for everyone to read.

Foot & Hands Turkey added 11-4-99 Original Author Unknown

Need: construction paper or fun foam, scissors, glue, markers
Directions:  Each child traces his/her foot with brown or tan construction paper. Have the children trace their hands on several different colors of construction paper. Cut out foot and hands. Have the child glue the hands behind the heel of their cut out foot (for feathers). Have the children cut out and glue on the eyes, gobbler, and beak.

Thanksgiving Card added 11-20-99 Original Author Unknown

Need: Paper, Child's Picture, glue, markers, crayons

Directions: First I cut out a tree in brown made from their two hands together with an arm as the trunk.   This tree is the full size of an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.  Fold in in half to fit into the card made from any color piece of the same size paper folded across the width of the paper.  I then took a small picture of each of the children and glued it into the center part of the trunk avoiding the fold of the paper.  I then cut out
leaves on which we wrote the names of the child's family, Mom, Dad, brother, sister, etc and we glued them on the tree.  I did this one on one and we talked about how special each member of the family was to them.  On the front of the card I had a poem which reads:
"I have a special place in my own family.
I need my family and my family needs me.
Open up this card with my family tree
To find the important person I can me!"

Cornucopia added 11-20-99 Original Author Unknown

Need: brown Lunch bags, paper, crayons and markers, ribbon

Directions: To make the cornucopia you will need a brown lunch bag.  Fold the open edges inside about an inch.  Crush the bottom into a small, soft point  Then bend the bottom into a cornucopia shape.  Have children draw pictures of fruits and vegetables on paper.  Cut out pictures and glue each one about 1 inch apart on a long piece of yarn or ribbon.  Glue one end of the yarn to the inside of the cornucopia.  Suspend the cornucopia by another piece of yarn taped to the top.

Pilgrim & Native American Heads using Handprints added 11-20-99
Original Author Unknown

Need: paper, paint 

Directions: Make place mats for your Thanksgiving feast, using handprint Pilgrim and Native American heads.  For the Native American paint the palm of the hand with a med brown paint (or any color you want.) and paint each finger a different color. Press on the paper. The use a paint brush and any color paint to ad the head band just below the feathers.  For the Pilgrim paint the palm of the hand light brown, and the middle three fingers were painted black.  A brush was used to add a black line of paint for the hat brim.  After the paint was dry the children added the facial features.

Native American Arm Bands/ Bracelets added 11-20-99
Original Author Unknown

Need: toilet paper roll, foil, glue, buttons, jewels, sequins, turquoise macaroni

Directions: You take a toilet paper roll slit it down the middle and then cut it in half, wrap it in foil to look like a silver clamp bracelet, then you can glue buttons, jewels, sequins, or even turquoise colored macaroni to make it look more "authentic" Our girls loved them and the boys used them as an arm band.

Native American Vests added 11-20-99 Original Author Unknown

Need: pillow cases, tea bags, fabric paint, margarine lids

Directions: Our class has decorated pillow cases (dyed with tea bags) with Indian
symbols with fabric paint (hand-made stencils from margarine lids).  We plan to cut a hole for the head and arms and also make fringe at the bottom. Another idea would be to do the same with an oversized shirt. Fringe the sleeves and hem.

Tootsy Turkeys added 11-2-00 Original Author Unknown

Need: 1 sheet of 12 x 18 construction paper, Brown tempera, tempera paints or pencils in fall colors, paintbrushes, black marker

Directions: Have each child place one bare foot in a shallow tray of brown tempera, then place on the construction paper. Allow the print to dry with the toes facing down, draw or paint feathers around the foot in other fall colors. Use a marker and paint to add facial features to the footprint to represent the turkey.

Wampum Necklace added 11-2-00 Original Author Unknown

Need: 1 piece of yarn, 18" length, Fruit Loops

Directions: For each child tape one end of a piece of yarn to keep it from unraveling.
Have children string fruit loops onto a strand of yarn to make a pattern. Remove the tape and tie the ends of the yarn together to make necklace.

Thanksgiving Thankful Wreaths added 10-15-01 Original Author Unknown

Need: bright fall colored tissue paper, yellow paper, paper plates, glue, marker, and yarn

Directions: You need to cut some bright colored tissue paper into good size squares (about 2 inches).  Cut a supply of yellow circles that will fit into the middle of a small paper plate.  Have the children glue the circle onto the plate.  Then have the children crumple the tissue paper and glue it to the outside edge of the plate.  While they are gluing go around and ask each child what he/she is thankful for and write it on the yellow circle.Taped yarn to the back for hanging.

Paper Tube Turkey added 10-22-01 Original Author Unknown

Need: Paper, paper tube, glue, red felt, wiggle eyes

Directions: Take a paper tube and cover it with brown construction paper. Trace both hands on white paper and let child color feathers. Cut out hands. Cut thumb off the cutouts. Lay tube horizontally. Glue hands to back of tube. Cut out peanut shape for head and glue to the front of tube. Use a red piece of felt to droop down from top of his head. Add wiggle eyes.

Hand And Turkey Thanksgiving Card added 10-22-01 
Original Author Unknown

Need: Paper, crayons or markers

Trace child's hand and color brown body and colored feathers (fingers)
Write in card: 
This isn't just a Turkey
As anyone can see,
I made it with my hand
Which is part of me.
It comes with lots of love
Especially to say,
I hope that you have a very

Turkey Collages added 10-29-01 Original Author Unknown

Need: brown paper, collage scraps, glue, marker

Give each child a turkey shape cut from brown construction paper. Provide them with a variety of collage scraps such as tissue paper squares, felt, construction paper, etc. Have them glue on the scraps to make feathers for the turkey. They can use markers to draw on any features they choose.

Indian Corn added 10-29-01 Original Author Unknown

Need: Q-tip, paper, fall paints, glue

Provide each child with a cut out shaped like an ear of corn. Have them dip a Q-tip into various fall-colored paints, and make corn by dabbing the Q-tip onto the cutout. When dried, they can attach corn husks which you have cut from green or yellow construction paper.

Noodle Necklace added 10-29-01 Original Author Unknown

pasta (such as macaroni, ziti, or penne), food coloring,
rubbing alcohol, and yarn.

Beads are a common adornment used by Native Americans. They are used in necklaces, masks, and other ceremonial wear. When the Native Americans
traded with the Europeans, they would often trade with beads. Kids can make their own necklace out of pasta.

Place two cups of pasta in a glass bowl. Add one Tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and 10 drops of food coloring. Have your child stir the pasta until it is all colored. Drain out any excess liquid and spread pasta onto a paper towel until dry. Help your child string pasta onto the desired length of yarn.

Thankful Wreath added 11-6-01 Submitted by: Anonymous

Need: magazines, scissors, paper plate, glue, and tissue paper

In the middle of a paper plate, you can either illustrate a picture or cut pictures from magazines of something you are thankful for. Then glue an array of orange, yellow and brown tissue squares around the plate. Add a bow at the bottom.

Wallpaper Turkeys added 10-1-02 Original Author Unknown

Need: brown paper, crayons or markers, wallpaper, scissors

Directions: Have the children cut about a 5" circle from brown construction paper.  We provide the children with a precut profile of a turkey head and neck. (You could also use a rectangle for the neck and a small circle for the head.)  They glue the base of it to the center of the circle at about a 45-degree angle.  This is glued to a large sheet of drawing paper.  They then draw the waddle, beak, eyes and feet.  The children are provided with a wide variety of feathers cut from old wallpaper.  (The stores will often give you outdated wallpaper books.)  We then encourage the children add details to their picture like grass, bugs to eat or whatever they like.

Feather Painting added 10-8-02 Original Author Unknown

Need: feathers, pain, and paper

Directions: Provide each child with a feather, paint and paper. Ask the children paint a pictures using the feather as a paint brush.

Thanksgiving Tree added 10-28-02 Original Author Unknown

Need: tree branch, plastic container, plaster of paris, construction paper

Directions: November 1st put up the "Thanksgiving Tree".  Find a branch from a tree, (can be as small or large as you like).  Mix up a batch of plaster of paris and pour into a container that will hold the trunk of your "tree".  (You can use a plastic deli container. Then put inside a basket so it looks pretty) Insert the tree branch and brace against something until the plaster hardens.  Then make leaves out of autumn colored construction paper, (like red, yellow, orange, brown...)  All through the month, parent and students (with help) write things on the leaves that they are thankful for and then hang each leaf on the tree.  By Thanksgiving, you have a beautiful autumn tree. If you have a thanksgiving party, read all the leaves aloud around the table.

Thanksgiving Collage added 11-11-02 Original Author Unknown

Need: A child's hand, construction paper, crayons or markers, glue, different types of uncooked macaroni or beans

Directions: Place child' s hand on construction paper and trace around with
marker or crayon. Use marker or crayon to draw in feet and eyes on the thumb. Let children decorate the turkey by gluing beans and macaroni.

Turkey Plate added 11-18-02 Original Author Unknown

Need: Paper plate, paint, paper, scissors, hole punch

Directions: Have your child paint a paper plate with lots of different colors, or have them sponge paint all over the plate. Let the plate dry. Cut out a brown construction pear shape to resemble the body of a turkey. Cut out a yellow triangle and red teardrop shape to form the beak, and punch out two black "eyes" with a hole punch out of black paper. Have the child assemble the turkey and then glue onto the plate as the turkey's feathers.

Feather Art added 9-23-03 Original Author Unknown

Need: Colored paper plates, feathers, hole punch, yarn, glue

Directions: Take a small colored paper plate (or white if you like). Glue a lot of feathers on the plate. Make a hole using a hole puncher. In order to hang it, place a piece of yarn and tie it in a knot or a small piece of pipe cleaner and twist it together.
Let the glue dry.

Big Fat Turkey added 11-8-04 Submitted By: Erin

Need: Balloon, flour, water, Torn newspaper, brown paint, face of a turkey, feathers.

Mix the flour and water together until you create a Papier-Machie' Mixture.  Then blow up a balloon for every child, and allow them to wrap their balloon up by dipping the torn newspaper into the mixture.  Help the children to cover the balloon completely and have the balloon dry over night.  Once it is dried, paint it brown and add a turkey face and feathers.



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