While you may envision a picture postcard Thanksgiving gathering of family and friends, the reality may be a house full of children running from room to room. If you need something to entertain a small or large group of kids, consider adding some crafts to pass the time until dinner and keep everyone (small and large) happy. Kids from ages 5-12 love doing crafts and will eagerly take on your projects if you are prepared. There are some simple rules to keep in mind though when dealing with crafts and this age group. Some of them are-
1.Make sure your craft projects match the ages and interest of the children involved. If the projects are too simple they will lose interest quickly; if the projects are too complicated they will grow frustrated and you will have adults vainly trying to finish the crafts.
2.Even though this age group goes to school and seems able to follow directions on their own they still must have adult supervision. Assign older teenage siblings or another adult to supervise if you need to be on kitchen duty. This will lessen the risk of an accident should your attention need to be diverted to the dinner preparations.
3.Capitalize on their abilities; most kids in this age group know how to read and can do crafts that have a higher level of ability required. In addition, this age group loves to compete, so don’t be afraid to offer prizes for the best, wackiest or most theme-appropriate craft since the lure of a prize may spur greater diligence to whatever they are doing.
Now that you know the basics, here are some great ideas for Thanksgiving crafts for kids.
Kids this age can help decorate the table for the big meal. Several web sites offer place cards and napkin holders that can be downloaded and then decorated. Simply use white card stock and download several appropriate designs. Stock a table with crayons, markers, glue, sequins, glitter glue or whatever else you would like, and set the kids to work. You may find that you have the best decorated place cards and napkin rings to ever grace any Thanksgiving table! These types of place cards are then just placed at every setting, and napkin rings are fastened with glue or tape around the napkin and you are done.
To add to a dessert buffet have the kids decorate Thanksgiving themed sugar cookies or cupcakes. Providing icing, candies and sprinkles, you can help them create masterpieces to be set out next to the traditional pumpkin pie (that many children won’t eat anyway!) You can give prizes for the best, wackiest or silliest turkey sugar cookie!
Have the kids make a Thankful Leaf Wreath. Using a white paper plate cut a half circle out of the center. This will hold the leaves. Then have the kids cut out a lot of leaves from construction paper and add leaf veins if they wish. You can use a leaf template for this. Glue the leaves all around the rim of the paper plate. Write, “I am thankful for,” in the lower center and then let the child write or draw what they are thankful for.
Have the kids make a Pine Cone Turkey. You will need: A pine cone, acorn or a nut in the shell, brown, red, orange and yellow construction paper, a marker, scissors, glue or glue gun, googly eyes and clay. Have the kids cut out several feathers from the construction paper. Put a small piece of clay on one side of the pine cone to steady it on the table. The pine cone will be the turkey’s body. The feathers need to be glued to the top of the wide side of the pine cone. For the turkey’s head glue the acorn to the front of the turkey using hot glue. Glue on two googly eyes and a small piece of red construction paper (for the turkey’s wattle).