Arts & Craft Ideas for Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving often centers on family togetherness. Arts and crafts that relate to Thanksgiving give children the opportunity to learn more about the holiday in a fun manner. The results of the art and craft projects add a festive touch to the Thanksgiving table. Turkeys, the first Thanksgiving, leaves and giving thanks for blessings are theme possibilities for Thanksgiving art and craft projects.

Tree of Thanks

This craft idea focuses on giving thanks at this time of year. Start by finding a small tree branch with several smaller branches. Place small rocks or sand in a small bucket. Place the tree branch in the bucket. Cut out various leaf shapes from brown, red and orange construction paper. On each leaf, help your child write or draw something for which they are thankful. Punch a hole in each leaf. Tie a string or ribbon through the hole to make a loop. Hang the leaves on the tree branch. The Tree of Thanks makes an attractive centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner and it helps the family focus on the positives in life.

Turkey Headband

Turkey headbands are a fun craft to get into the Thanksgiving mood. Cut a long strip of brown construction paper. The strip should fit around the child's head. Hold the strip around her head and tape it together at the correct length. Cut feather shapes from colorful construction paper. Attach the feathers to the back of the headband. Cut a brown circle for the turkey's head. Attach it to the front of the headband. Cut a diamond shape out of orange paper. Fold it in half to form the turkey's beak. Attach it to the circle. Add eyes and a wobble out of red paper. Cut two wings out of brown paper and attach them to the side of the head.

Pilgrim Hat Centerpiece

An empty coffee can could be transformed into a Pilgrim's hat to make a festive centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner. Cover an empty coffee can with brown paper or paint it brown. Cut a large circle out of brown paper to serve as the brim of the hat. Cut the circle so it hangs over the coffee can by 1 inch all the way around. Attach the circle to the bottom of the coffee can. Cut a strip of paper to go around the hat. Cut a buckle out of paper and place it on the strip. Attach it to the coffee can. Fill the coffee can with real or artificial flowers to finish off the centerpiece, or paint the lid brown and place it on the can.

Thanksgiving Place Mats

Homemade place mats add a personal touch to the Thanksgiving table. Use a rectangular shaped piece of construction paper. Decorate it with Thanksgiving stickers or draw Thanksgiving symbols. Make a hand print turkey on the place mats by painting the hand. Paint the palm of the hand and the thumb brown. Paint the fingers different colors to create the feathers. Add the facial features. Laminate the place mats to prevent damage.

About this Author

Shelley Frost has been a freelance writer since 2007, specializing in parenting and education. Her work can be found on websites such as and Frost holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a minor in reading from the University of Northern Iowa.

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