Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts
To make a stuffed pumpkin, we took a paper plate and cut orange crepe paper approx. 1.5″ larger than the plate. The children then glue the crepe paper three quarters the way around the plate (glue sticks work the best). They stuff the pumpkin with scraps of orange crepe paper and then glue the rest. With a stencil, they then trace a green stem and a leaf and cut it out. They attach the stem and leaf to the pumpkin with glue. These pumpkins are great for fall/harvest bulletin boards. Other vegetables can be made in a similar fashion (eg. eggplant, yellow squash, ect..). A bulletin board with these veg. and stalks of corn and our homemade baskets worked great for our harvest/Thanksgiving Theme. The children harvested the board the day before Thanksgiving break using the baskets to carry their harvest (like the pilgrims did).
Each year, I cut a large turkey body out of brown paper (pear-shaped) I add a waddle and eyes. Then I send home a construction paper feather with a note asking parents to help decorate the feather with their child any way they wish, then return them to school by a certain date. They all get brought back and displayed on the turkey that we hang in the hallway outside our classroom. The kids love it and the parents spend quality time working alongside their child!
Stained glass Indian Corn…
Cut the shape of corn on the cob out of half a sheet of black construction paper. Mix water with glue enough to thin it down a little. Paint the glue on wax paper. Have available to the children small squares of tissue paper in the colors of Indian corn (purple, black, red, yellow etc.). The children place the tissue paper on the glued wax paper. When dried, tape the tissue paper to the backs of the corn cutout. Hang on the windows…very pretty!
Native American Costumes- Ask parents to send in an old light or white pillowcase. After explaining how the Native Americans used things like tea to dye their fabrics- we dye the pillowcases in tea. After they are dry we cut the closed end( for the child’s head) and the sides (for their arms). They can then decorate with markers or beads. We also cut the hem end up into strips. The girls like to add beads here. The children wear these costumes to our feast and then they take them home to wear there. The parents love them!!!
Using an overhead projector, I traced a turkey on white paper. I painted the body brown (you could also have your kids do the painting). Using various colored tissue paper, The children then ball up the tissue paper and glue it down. Yellow for the beak, feet and a feather, blue for the eyes and a feather, red the wattle and a feather. Don’t forget other colors for the feathers! (orange, green, black, brown, white, purple, etc)
I then cut out the finished turkey to hang on the door (or wall) It looks great! I did this 2 years ago, and I’m still getting compliments on it!
Give each of the children a piece of construction paper and a straw. In the middle of the paper put a small puddle of brown paint. Let the children use their straw to move the paint around, this will be the body of the turkey. You then put several small puddles of paint on the top edge of the brown splotch in different colors, green, orange, red, and yellow. These will form the tail feathers. Have the children blow these up and out. Give them each a beak, wattle, eyes, and feet to glue on. Very cute.