Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts

Send home a cut-out feather shape home for family and child to decorate together. You will be amazed at the creativity. I used to theme being thankful for family. I drew a bear-but turkey on the bulletin board and added each decorated turkey to make its tail. It was awesome! The title was “Feathers that have it All Together” The parents loved it.

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.

One year, we did turkey magnets – I precut ( saves time! ) brown circles – large for the body, small for the head – & different colored feathers. The children glued the head on the body ( overlap them a little ) & the feathers on the back, behind the head. Don’t forget to have them make a face on their turkey! When dry, on each feather we wrote “I am thankful for” & then their answer. You could also write “I am thankful for” on the body & the answers on the feathers. Then on the back, glue a small magnet to go on the fridge!

Take a paper towel roll and glue popcorn packing peanuts on to the tube. Place the tube in a brown paper lunch sack with three strips cut down 3/4 of the way to represent the husk leaves. glue the top of the paper towel roll and bottom to the lunch bag. Have the kids paint the “peanuts” once everything is dry the Indian corn colors (brown, purple, yellow, orange). You can also glue on the top of the towel roll some yellow yarn or ribbon to represent the corn silk. Looks great.

We gave each child a pattern of an empty cornucopia and a stack of grocery adds. Children cut out pictures of their favorites foods and glued them into the opening in the cornucopia. We hung these up on our bulletin board and are really cute. The children recognize their own and are always pointing to it. Fun!

Fall Wreaths-

You will need:

* Small white paper plates with the middle cut out.

* Brown tempera paint

* glue or paste (glue stick will not work)

* natural colored raffia

* Various fall items

* Hole punch

Start out by taking your class out for a nature walk and talking about autumn while you gather leaves in various colors and shapes, berries, tiny pine cones, and nuts.

I give each child a small bag to gather their goodies in so they can take them home. I gather a separate bag to use for our project.

Next, let them paint the paper plate.

When it’s dry punch a hole in the top, tie on a piece of the raffia in a bow and let them glue on the items from the nature walk. Dry flat. They’re VERY cute when they’re done!!

Indian Corn- Draw and copy a picture of a piece of corn on the cob w/ squares drawn in for the piece of corn. Cut small square pieces of fall color paper, or have child cut. Glue on the cob. Add 2 brown corn husks, one on each side. For toddlers, I put on the dots of glue. Both ages, you could add color-coded marker dots to cob squares for 1:1 matching.

Indian Corn


Paper towel roll

Paper Lunch bag

Styrofoam popcorn (or peanuts)



Yellow Ribbon


Put glue on the bottom 2 inches of the paper towel roll and going up the “back” of the roll. Put glue around 2 inches on the top too leaving a small section in the front glue free. Stick the roll into the paper bag and squish the bag to the roll on the bottom and the top and to the “back”. Use scissors to cut husks that fold down to expose the kernels. I cut three husks. Put glue all over the open part of the “cob” and glue cut up pieces of the Styrofoam popcorn to the cob. When it dries have the children paint the kernels red, purple, yellow, orange, brown to make it Indian corn for Thanksgiving or all yellow for regular corn. We left the paper bag brown for the Indian corn but I’d have them paint or color it green for “fresh” or regular corn. I then took yellow ribbon (curling ribbon) and taped a few pieces on the top inside of the tube and tore them each into about 3 pieces (lengthwise) to make them curl a bit and it is the corn silk. I wish I could submit a picture it is so cute. We used counting to count the kernels, sensory to feel the popcorn and crinkle the bag, and colors for the different color kernels.

Have parents save corn husks and bring in ahead of time. Dry them by laying them out for 2 days. Have children cut lines in the paper to make weaving mats. Then use the dried husks to weave a harvest placemat.