Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts to do with Toddlers

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Keeping the little ones busy during a season of cooler temperatures and lots of cooking time can be a challenge. However, there are plenty of fun arts and crafts projects to keep their hands busy and their minds engaged. Here are a few that are easy enough for the youngest of kids (with some adult help of course).

Turkey Hand Tracing Art
What you will need:

Little kids are fascinated with how many creations can be developed out of their own handprint. Making a handprint turkey is extremely easy. Have the toddler lay their hand on a piece of paper with their fingers outstretched. Then trace their hand. Make the thumb into the turkey’s head by adding eyes and a beak. The base of the palm where the wrist would be attached is where the feet are to be drawn. From there, have the little ones color in the “feathers” of the fingers and the body of the turkey.

Pinecone Bird Feeder
What you will need:
-Bird Seed
-Plate or Bowl
-Peanut Butter & Margarine
-Shortening & Cornmeal

This is the time of year that birds rely on help from humans to prepare for their journey south or endure the cold months ahead. Creating a bird feeder will encourage young children to learn about birds as well as how to care for them. A word of advice: this project is best done outside, as it tends to be a bit messy.

Start by finding a large pinecone. Tie a string around it, leaving enough length to hang from a tree. Next, mix together 2 tablespoons of peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of margarine. Spread the mixture over the pinecone (an adult should do this step to minimize a mess). If you find you need more mixture to cover the pinecone, repeat the recipe to add more. Once your pinecone is coated in this sticky mixture, pour the bird seed on a plate or in a bowl. Roll the prepared pinecone in the bird seed until it is thoroughly coated. Now hang from a tree and you have a simple bird feeder.

Alternative bird feeder recipe: 2 tablespoons shortening and 2 tablespoons cornmeal plus bird seed.

Leaf Wreath
What you will need:
-Paper Plate
-Fall Leaves

Take the toddlers outside to collect a bunch of fall leaves. Once the leaves are gathered, it is time to create beautiful falls wreaths. Prepare the paper plates for the kids by cutting out the center to create an open wreath shape, while still leaving plenty of room for them to adhere their prized leaves. Then let them have at it with their pile of leaves and glue. Before you know it that simple paper plate will be adorned in beautiful autumn foliage, creating a lovely leaf wreath decoration.

Noodle Necklace
What you will need:
-Penne Noodles (or Macaroni)
-Plastic string
-Optional: Non-toxic Paints

Thanksgiving is all about the harvest. Noodles fall within the celebratory feasting of the season. Since this is for toddlers, penne noodles are easier to string as the hole is much wider and the noodle is straight. However, you may use any dry noodle shape that works for you. By using plastic string there is no need for a needle because the string itself is stiff enough to easily be fed through the hole of the noodle. Once the children feel satisfied with the amount of noodles on their necklace, help them by tying the string into a knot, leaving enough room for the necklace to still fit over their head. For additional fun, have the children paint their completed necklaces for a vibrant splendor celebrating the autumn colors.

Once Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is right around the corner. You can help your little ones get in the spirit of things with some great Christmas crafts for kids!

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