Easy Thanksgiving Crafts & Treats for Kids

Quick crafts and easy-to-assemble treats help kids get into the spirit of Thanksgiving. Choose a few crafts for turkey day to keep hungry kids occupied while the big feast is being prepared.

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Turkey Crayon Holder
Thanksgiving Turkey Crayon Holder

    Turn this cute paper turkey into a crayon holder for the crafts table or the kids' table at Thanksgiving dinner. Using the pattern cutouts, punch two holes in the tail-feather pieces and run a string through them before adhering the pieces to the body. Tie the turkey to a rubber band and wind the band around a handful of crayons. Use the crayon bundle to support the turkey.

Thanksgiving Tree

    Send your kids outside on a pre-Thanksgiving treasure hunt to find a shapely leaf-free branch. Then help them transform their contribution into a memorable centerpiece. Wipe any dirt and loose bark from the branch. We taped off part of the base and spray-painted the top warm white for effect, but the branch looks great in its natural state, too. Stand the branch in a vase and fill the container with unshelled nuts for support. Print the leaf pattern onto decorative paper. Cut out the leaves, punch a hole at the top of each, and tie with ribbon or twine for hanging. Have kids write each guest's name on a leaf to use them as place cards before guests write blessings on their leaves and hang their thanks. Make extras so kids can make as many additions to the centerpiece as they'd like.

Thankful Feathers

    Help your kids create a centerpiece filled with Thanksgiving gratitude. Each tail feather carries a thankful word or two from your child. To make the turkey, print out the head, beak, wattle, and feather patterns. Cut out and trace on decorative papers. Fold beak along dotted lines as indicated. Glue beak and wattle to head, using the photo as a guide. Add googly eyes from a crafts store. Glue to a large pinecone to form the turkey's body. Cut out feathers, crease lengthwise, and snip fringe edges. Encourage your child (and grown-up guests, too) to write their blessings on a tail feather. Tuck each feather into the pinecone body to create the turkey's colorful tail.

Mayflower Napkin Clip

    This cute craft for the Thanksgiving table will remind kids about the history of the holiday. Print the pattern; assemble. Transform the paper craft into a napkin clip by adhering a clothespin (clip side down) to the back of the crafts-stick mast. Clip the paper Mayflower to a bright blue cloth napkin to give the appearance that the ship is at sea.

Talk Turkey

    The turkey on the table doesn't have to be the only bird present at Thanksgiving. Use markers to decorate white work gloves with turkey feather designs. Cut out pieces of felt for the wings and beak. Glue the felt pieces and a button eye on the glove.

    Editor's Tip: Set up a kids' crafts table stocked with art supplies and games, which will keep kiddos entertained while grown-ups linger over dinner.

Kid Contribution

    While you're putting the last minute touches on dinner, occupy hungry kids with a simple craft to be placed on the Thanksgiving table. Supply kids with markers, glue, buttons, felt pieces, and paper, and ask them to make custom place cards for soon-to-be-arriving guests.

    Editor's Tip: Provide a guest list for kids so they'll know exactly how to spell Aunt Suzanne's name.

Thanksgiving Greetings

    Enlist your kids to craft these turkey cards. Send them to faraway relatives to say "Happy Thanksgiving" or mail them out as invitations to your Thanksgiving feast.

Wild Turkey

    Take a walk in the woods and find nature items to make this Thanksgiving pal.

Fan-Folded Leaves

    This simple paper-folding technique is easy to master, and the colorful leaves can be splashed across a table as a centerpiece. Or, wrap the chenille-stem ends around a length of heavy cording to be hung as a garland.

Holiday Puzzle

    Blank jigsaw kits -- found at crafts and hobby stores -- give kids the opportunity to make their own customized puzzle. Encourage them to draw Thanksgiving-theme pictures on their puzzle pieces. Later, kids can trade puzzles and spend time putting them together.

Gobble, Gobble

    For these turkey treats, spread a dollop of vanilla frosting on a round cracker. Place a chocolate kiss near the bottom of the cracker. Add candy corn pieces above the kiss for the turkey feathers. Spread a small amount of frosting on one side of another candy corn piece and "glue" to the top of the kiss for the beak. Let frosting dry, then attach a caramel square to the back of the cracker with frosting to help the treats stand upright.

Take Your Places

    Gather your kids in the kitchen to bake up a batch of these turkey place card cookies. Let kids help cut out the hand-shape cookies and decorate them with colorful candies. Then write your guests' names on the cookies with frosting to use as place cards on the Thanksgiving table.

Good Manners Napkins

    These sweet napkins remind us to use good manners at the Thanksgiving table.

Wreath of Thanks

    Kids will love creating a wreath that shows off their reasons to be thankful. Wrap a simple foam wreath with brown linen. Fray edges for a rustic tone, and secure the linen ends to the back of the wreath with glue or a pin. Print out the leaf patterns on decorative papers. Add each family member's name to the leaves using a printer, rub-on letters from the crafts store, or a marker. Cut out the leaves. Ask the kids to write words of thanks, and attach each leaf to the wreath with a decorative pin or a dab of crafts glue.

Crafts Cornucopia

    Give the grown-ups time to eat and chat by keeping the kids occupied. Put coloring books, playing cards, and other items in a Thanksgiving cornucopia made by rolling up a woven place mat. Hot-glue a silk leaf name tag to the front and hang the horn from a chair using string or rope tied through the weave of the place mat.

Tradition of Thanks

    Ask kids to write down what they're thankful for on leaves cut from paper. Then place them in a scrapbook and continue the tradition next Thanksgiving. As the compilation grows, you'll have a time capsule of memories to look back on year after year.

Crafty Centerpiece

    Keep little ones at the Thanksgiving kids' table busy with crafts supplies. Turn the supplies into a centerpiece by stacking several pretty baskets and loading them with crayons, pencils, markers, and a few floral stems for decoration. Use a large sheet of butcher paper as a tablecloth so kids can draw right on the tabletop.

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