Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts

Here is Washington we have a company called Kom-pan that makes outdoor big toys with pine logs. They drill a hole through the center of the logs. Anyway, they have 2-3 inch thick slice leftovers which they gave me free. I wrapped various colors of raffia around them. The kids would choose the color they wanted. Next they glued various colored die-cut construction paper leaves on the rough bottom. On the tops they glued things I’d gathered outside like wheat heads, acorns, tiny pinecones, another tiny I think fir cone, Indian corn kernels, whatever. In the center hole we placed small glass votive candle holders I was able to get at the fabric section at Wal-Mart for 44 Cents each. I thought about varying this by letting them paint the wood piece first one day or maybe let them paint coffee filter die cut leaves with watercolors and then use those to glue on also. They were free to choose what and how they glued it on and it was a nice Thanksgiving gift.

Thanksgiving placemats for ages 3-5

We cut out plates and Thanksgiving food from magazines and newspaper advertisements and glued them on the plates. (pumpkin pie, turkey, dressing, and even our drinks) etc. We glued these items onto a piece of regular sized construction paper the way that a place setting would be made. Then the child would write his/her name on the front or back. I took them and had them laminated and we used them for our Thanksgiving dinner and then they took them home.

I am going to have the children in our class make Turkey centerpieces out of brown paper bags. First the will stuff the bag with paper then take a rubber band and divide a small section of the bag off for the head. Feathers (either real or construction paper) will be glued on the back and red felt will be used for the waddle. Children can color eyes with marker or crayons. The perfect centerpiece for the parent’s table.

For Thanksgiving, we purchased a bag of colorful ties from the local thrift shop. These ties were from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and some were quite psychedelic! We used them for the tail-feathers for the turkey. We then used Styrofoam and cut out the turkeys front and then painted it. Our theme was ” Remember your family-ties at Thanksgiving”. Our school board loved the board so much that they now put it up at their office each year. We also added paper leaves and pumpkins and stacks of hay in the background. It all looks 3-D.

Pine Cone Turkeys with colored feathers! I used pine cones I collected from my yard. I had seen this craft done with pipe cleaners and wanted to do feathers. When I got to JoAnn’s I found colorful feathers, pink, green, red, yellow, orange and so on. So I used them. Then I took orange pipe cleaners and made like duck feet (who will know). Then I used the red pipe cleaner to make the turkeys head, then turned it so is going flat and made the gobbler part! Just too cute – easy and fast!

Native American costumes: We made the usual vests from paper bags but this time we painted with sticks, evergreen bushes, dried flowers, and such. We went for a walk outside to collect our paint “brushes”.

Thanksgiving Quilt. This is a wonderful project to promote sharing and cooperative learning. Cut a piece of fadeless paper to fit snuggly on your art table. Have material and wallpaper samples cut into squares and rectangles. Have the children glue the pieces together to form a Thanksgiving Quilt for display outside of the classroom. Every so often draw a square with a marker and have the child write their name and what they are thankful for this holiday season. You can also join your quilt with quilts made in other classes to form one giant community quilt from your school. When the children fit all of these shapes together and see the end result, they are very proud of their accomplishments!! The parents particularly like their thankful squares. Have fun!

Have the children collect leaves and berries. Then they put them on contact paper, sprinkle it with glitter and then another sheet of contact paper on top. They make great Fall placemats.


Make a variety of circles on orange construction paper, let the children cut them out. I then let them “paint” glue on it and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice. If you cannot find pumpkin pie spice, you can pre-mix nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. This smells wonderful and parents will adore them.


I did this with my Mommy and Me class I teach. I got a bunch of pie tins donated from a local bakery. I then had the children dip their hand in glue and did a “hand-print” turkey in the pie tin. Next the children sprinkled the spices on their hand-print turkey made out of glue. They turned out awesome!!! Thanks, Jen for the GREAT idea 🙂


Take the students on a leaf hunt. Bring lots of leaves back to the classroom. Have a picture of a turkey for each child or one big one for the class. Let the students glue leaves on for the tail