Top 5 Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids
Of the hundreds of Thanksgiving crafts I've seen over the years, these five are my favorites. They are easy to make and are a hit with kids. Most can be prepared ahead of time so that minimal help is needed from adults and children can dive right in.
These ideas come from lots of sources. Some will have links to instructions at trusted websites and some have instructions included here.
I've taken pictures of our own versions of these crafts so you can get a good idea of how they look completed. I've also added some tips we've found through trial and error to make the crafts a little easier to make.
Thanksgiving Indian Craft
Our homeschool group made these cute little Indians for our Thanksgiving craft project. Cutting the pieces out ahead of time made the craft extremely kid friendly. All instructions are here at FamilyFun (link no longer available!).
There were instructions for Indians AND pilgrim people, but I've only made the Indians. The pilgrim people are cute too, but require more handling.
Pictured here is a regular sized Indian (tissue paper tube) and an x-large Indian we made just for fun. For the x-large Indian, we used a huge heavy-duty cardboard tube (a tube used for mailing posters etc.) and adjusted the size of the other materials. If I can find a HUGE paper tube (surely someone makes one) I'd love to make a life-size Indian this way. I think it would be a great project/challenge for teenagers to make.
Make an Indoor Fire for your little Indians
More Indian Fun!
Candy Turkey Craft
A perfect craft for Thanksgiving Day
This is one of my all time favorite Thanksgiving Crafts. It was published in a 1993 issue of Southern Living magazine and I've kept it all of these years. It's really cute and kids enjoy making and eating these turkeys. Because it is so old, it is not listed at their website, but I simply must share it and give Southern Living and contributor Elizabeth Yarborough credit for the idea.
I've added my own ideas too and denoted those with an asterisk*.
- Oreos (cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies)
- Red Cinnamon Candies (or red M&M Minis*)
- Whoppers (malted milk balls)
- Chocolate frosting (or peanut butter*)
- Candy Corn
You can probably tell from the picture exactly what you need to do, but here's a quick run down.
1. Separate chocolate cookie carefully, leaving filling intact on one of the halves and set aside.
2. Attach a red cinnamon candy (or red M&M Mini) to a malted milk ball with a little frosting (or peanut butter).
3. Attach the malted milk ball to a cookie half with creme filling using a dap of frosting (or peanut butter).
4. Spread chocolate frosting (or peanut butter) onto the half of the cookie with no creme filling.
5. Arrange candy corn in a fan shape on chocolate frosted cookie halves leaving a space in the center for the malted milk ball. This is your turkey tail.
6. Attach turkey tail to turkey body (malted milk ball) using chocolate frosting.
Heehee...We Got Craaaazy with This One....A Peacock!
Here's a spin on the Turkey Treats!
We got the idea to make another version of the "Turkey Treats". My daughter and I dug through the half-price Halloween candy and found these really neat pink and purple candy corns. We also found...you won't believe it...strawberry flavored (pink) Whoppers candy. We used vanilla flavored creme-filled cookies and vanilla frosting. It looks like a Peacock or Flamingo to me, but nobody's buying it since Flamingo's don't have fan tails.
Stained Glass Window Leaves
These are best displayed in a window
This craft involves scraping crayons to get colorful crayon shavings. These shavings are then melted between layers of waxed paper with a warm iron.
This project is best to do at home (vs. classroom) because of the iron etc.
The light shines through the melted crayon and they really do look like stained glass.
This idea can be used for any holiday. For Christmas, a tree shape could be used with green crayon bits. For Easter, an egg shape could be used with multi-colored bits.
If you like this window craft, you might also like the Tissue Paper Fall Leaf Sun Catchers listed below under More excellent Thanksgiving Crafts.
If you want to be just plain silly, make these turkey hats. This craft is another one that can be cut out and prepared ahead of time.
A couple of things I changed to make this craft better for kids were: I used googly eyes (instead of pom-poms) for the eyes and I used tape and a gluestick when possible instead of white glue. We DID use white glue for the eyes, but another option if you want to avoid white glue for the eyes is Glue Dots. If you've never used Glue Dots, they are small clear sticky dots about 1/4 inch in diameter. They are VERY sticky and kids will need help using them, but the upside is that they do not need to dry like white glue. They come on a roll and you can find them at any craft store.
OK, this is cute too!
Sweatshirt Turkey with Hand and Footprints
Handprints and a footprint make the cutest turkey! There are lots of versions of this craft, but I like this one best. I still have the one we made when my daughter was little.
All you need is a light colored sweatshirt or t-shirt and some acrylic paints: red, yellow, brown, white and black. Oh, and a child willing to rub their hands and a foot in some paint (this won't be hard to find). Step-by-step instructions are below.
This would make a special Thanksgiving gift for a grandparent.
Making a turkey sweatshirt from hand and footprints
Bonus Craft #6: Here's our paper pumpkin.
Just found this one and of course we HAD to make one of these. We didn't have a stamper to make designs on the orange paper, so we used a thin orange marker and made random swirly lines instead. It worked GREAT. One more thing: they don't say this in
More excellent Thanksgiving Crafts
I've been out scouring the internet for the BEST Thanksgiving crafts. Enjoy!
- Cool Indian Corn Magnet
You may have to click past an ad or two to get to the craft. Use chenille stems and tri-beads to make an ultra-cool Indian Corn Magnet.
- Tissue Paper Fall Leaf Sun Catchers
Don't miss this one! I hunted around the internet to find the most kid-friendly version and I think this one is it.
- Tree Branch Craft
Use a real tree branch and add your own colorful construction paper leaves. Add notes of thankfulness to the leaves if you like.
- Harvest Blessing Snack Mix
I will be making this one without a doubt. It's the first time I've seen it. Several snacks (bugels, candy corn etc.) are mixed together and each represents part of the harvest season. A note is included and given as a gift.
- Mouse Napkin Rings
This one is more of a simple print-out and cut-out craft, but I included it because it is adorable!
- Indian leg fringes
I can see the little Indians now! The idea for this is genius. Kids would love this to go with an Indian headdress. The instructions recommend using newspaper, but using brown paper bags would be the right color. Or if you are feeling REALLY crafty y
- Woven Thanksgiving Placemats
Here's the all-time favorite woven placemat. Use lots of fall colors for the best result!
- String of Leaves
This would be a wonderful project for a classroom. Several leaf shapes could be offered with a variety of colors of construction paper. Each child could do 2 or 3 leaves making a festive decoration. And I bet each child could pick out their own leaf
- Acorn Necklace
This link is not to a crafting site, it is actually only to a picture to show an idea. It's a necklace made from a double-acorn. Instead of the leather necklace "chain" shown, a child could use yarn. The yard could even be tied in a knot around the a
- Turkey Cupcakes from Betty Crocker
Another option for turkey themed treats. These are really cute.
- Construction Paper Indian Corn - Nice!
I'm inspired with a million springboard ideas after seeing this really cool indian corn made with wonderful bit of fall colors. Even little kids can do this.
- Candy Corn Stained Glass Window Art
Just like the craft in my Top 5 list, this candy corn uses crayon shavings. A little messy but the results are breathtaking!
Please let me know you stopped by - Please stop by each Thanksgiving to see what's new
AlexiaLynn on November 20, 2012:
I am so trying these!~!!
anonymous on November 19, 2012:
do you have any good popcicle house ideas?
anonymous on November 06, 2012:
Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on August 28, 2012:
Great ideas, I like the turkey hat! Blessed!
sherioz on August 26, 2012:
I like the turkey shirt - hands and foot - that's so cute. Blessed.
seosmm on November 27, 2011:
Very nice lens!
anonymous on November 24, 2011:
Super nice lens. Thanks for sharing. Squid-liked!
lauraklebsch on November 08, 2011:
i have 6 kids that are going to have a good weekend thanks to your lens. all these great ideas should fill our weekend well. thanks
wcjohnston on November 06, 2011:
very creative lens, great job
Lee Hansen from Vermont on November 06, 2011:
Just stopped by looking for ideas for my grandkids Thanksgiving crafts ... and to leave a blessing for these fun and creative kids Thanksgiving crafts.
Russian_Doll on November 06, 2011:
DeterminedDolphin on November 05, 2011:
A great bunch of ideas for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
BuddyBink on November 05, 2011:
Some excellent ideas, especially if family with kids are coming for Thanksgiving, for keeping the kids busy and in the spirit of the day.
Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on November 04, 2011:
Very cute and creative ideas! Great article and very nicely presented. :)
Bahrns on November 04, 2011:
great ideas! I will definitely do this with my wife and my kids. Probably we'll do turkey shirt for the whole family.
bonusprint lm on November 03, 2011:
This is really trendy and ideas of craft art that kids will be interested in because they love to have fun in what ever they do. Great lens impressed.
Julia Morais on November 03, 2011:
I so love the hand and foot tshirt idea. It's so awesome. Great creative lens.
slippknot12 on November 03, 2011:
Great Crafting Ideas! I cannot wait to try some of these projects out with my daughter. Thank you so much for this fun and informative lens
lasertek lm on November 03, 2011:
I like the Indian and turkey crafts. Thanks for sharing.
NidhiRajat on November 03, 2011:
very nice interesting work
food monkey on November 03, 2011:
very fun! nice lens :)
Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on November 02, 2011:
Love this, so cute!
Stacy Birch on November 02, 2011:
cute crafts, great lens.
Scanabella on November 02, 2011:
My cats love to play with empty tissue paper rolls also! very creative ideas!
FreelancinFran on November 02, 2011:
Cute, fun lens. Good job :)
Little Linda Pinda from Florida on November 02, 2011:
Very cute and creative ideas. I hope kids still are crafting and expanding their creative spirit.
Jennifer_Glennon on November 01, 2011:
These are great ideas! I am going to have to try these with my daughter.
modernchakra on November 01, 2011:
Now is there a law against adults doing kids' crafts? and how readily is it enforced? ;)
Thank you for these cool ideas, I will forward them onto my brother and sister to keep my niece and nephews busy!
Shannon from Florida on November 01, 2011:
I love the ideas! I'm always looking for cute holiday crafts I can do with my kids. Blessed and liked.
jdwheeler on November 01, 2011:
Thanksgiving is such a special time to give thanks for your family and these crafts are great to spend time with your family.
noel rocs on October 30, 2011:
love it! I am definitely gonna try out some of these with my baby :) He'll love the turkey hat! :)
kt_glasses on November 25, 2010:
cute lens! love all the ideas you've put in here.
CozyKitty on November 24, 2010:
Wow - what an amazing lens! There are so many ideas worth coming back for. Thanks, and Happy T'Day!
Robert T Gasperson from South Carolina on November 24, 2010:
I think My favorite project on this page is the crayon stained glass. Thank you for the great ideas.
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on November 23, 2010:
Congratulations on your "Double" honor -- being included in the Best of Lists Thanksgiving lenses AND receiving a Purple Star. Both honors are well deserved. This is a wonderful group of Thanksgiving crafts for kids, including some really creative ones. Now I'd like to add my own small recognition of an excellent lens by leaving a ~~SquidAngel Blessing~~
anonymous on November 23, 2010:
Congratulations for being included on the Best of Lists, 75 Lenses You Shouldn't Miss This Thanksgiving by SquidTeam, and Happy Thanksgiving! - Kathy
Vikki from US on November 13, 2010:
Wonderful ideas here for Thanksgiving Crafts for the kids! Great lens!
gods_grace_notes on October 17, 2010:
Very cute crafts!
dessertlover on October 13, 2010:
These are wonderful craft ideas!! They're all so cute too, and unique. Great lens!
lemonsqueezy lm on September 29, 2010:
Amazing. "Favorited." "Liked." Lensrolled to my "Creating a Thankful Tree" lens. I hope to try one of these activities this year. Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting my Creating a Thankful Tree lens.
VarietyWriter2 on September 04, 2010:
Blessed by a SquidAngel :)
projectmand on April 10, 2010:
Wow! a great collection of thanksgiving Kids crafts. Though this is not a holiday in my place I hope will be popular soon.
Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on December 25, 2009:
Hi, I am back again to let you know that I have featured this at By Kids 4 Kids - A Group of Squidoo Lenses for Kids
puzzlerpaige (author) on December 01, 2009:
@anonymous: Thanks so much Gretel. Yes, I will be posting more craft articles featuring the best crafts I've made and also those I find online. My next project is upcoming Valentine's day so please check back for that one. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
anonymous on November 30, 2009:
I think what you're doing is absolutely cool!!!!!!!!!!! And I'm definitely going to try most, well all of your crafts!! Please post some more!!
Thanx. God bless! Have a nice day
puzzlerpaige (author) on November 26, 2009:
@anonymous: I agree. Thanks for you comment. The sweatshirt/t-shirt takes several steps but is well worth the effort. FUN!
Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on November 26, 2009:
Oh, I love these crafts! Easy and simple. I'm going to feature it on my Thanksgiving Craft lens. Happy Thanksgiving!
anonymous on November 25, 2009:
puzzlerpaige (author) on November 21, 2009:
@squid-janices7: Yes, I agree that keeping the kids entertained is major. And they will always remember those crafts etc. One year I made a huge batch of sugar cookies (used my lobster, moose and gingerbread men shaped cookie cutters) and also made lots of colored icing. The kids decorated the cookies and they loved it! It kept them busy for quite a while.
s09 on November 20, 2009:
hey,nice work.these projects are really good.I liked the turkey shirt most.It is really innovative.Good luck to you and best wishes for thanksgiving day.
Alberto-Simmons on November 17, 2009:
Nice crafts, Kids don't need big gifts, Small effort in making a gift can make them much happier. Like your craft ideas, will try to make one for my kid.
squid-janices7 on November 17, 2009:
When you've got a bunch of kids joining in on the Thanksgiving celebration, crafts are a must to keep them entertained. Great 5* lens!
Lee Hansen from Vermont on November 16, 2009:
What fun! My favorite Thanksgiving crafts in this collection are the stained glass leaves and the hand/foot turkey prints. Lensrolled to my Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids lens ...
Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on November 16, 2009:
Delightful crafts for Thanksgiving. I can hardly wait to make these with the kids.
Patricia on November 15, 2009:
Great crafts! Out on the farm does not have a picture of me and my dog. It is in Oregon
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on November 12, 2009:
Congratulations for being in the top 100. That is super and now I am blessing this wonderful lens.
lasertek lm on November 11, 2009:
Nice! Will try doing these crafts with my kids. Good idea for a bonding activity.
Hope you could visit my lens as well. Thanks
eccles1 on November 10, 2009:
Hand and footprints turkeys to add to sweatshirt what a cute idea!!
RuthieDenise on November 09, 2009:
What a lovely lens. I am going to try the feathers headband for my little kiddos at church.
Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on November 07, 2009:
Great crafts here! I have featured this lens as one of two lenses of the month of Nov. on Homeschool Fun - Free Arts and Crafts Resources Also gave it a Squidoo Angel blessing. (you can add the link on my angel lens if you want).
Seeking Pearls from Pueblo West on November 04, 2009:
Wonderful lens... I am craft addict and love finding easy crafts to do with my kids. Lensrolling to my Autumn Fun Crafts for Kids. Love your format and style.
Artemus-Gordon on November 04, 2009:
These look fun. This will be my first Thanksgiving with my step kids and it will be fun to do this with them.
WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on October 28, 2009:
This is the Best Thanksgiving Kids Crafts Lens. Thanks for your friendship, Paige! This lens is featured on:
A RocketMoms Thanksgiving Day Feast :)
puzzlerpaige (author) on October 24, 2009:
Have you ever heard that phrase "Blessed beyond measure?" That's how I'm feeling right now. Thank you everyone.
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on October 24, 2009:
I love the turkey with the handprints. I am lensrolling this to my PEEPS Preschool lens because I think the parents and teachers would like to see this one.
Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on October 23, 2009:
I love that stained glass with crayon one the most but this is a wonderful lens! I have to join the chorus of angel blessings here!
anonymous on October 23, 2009:
These are so cute and so easy too! Love the hand and footprint turkey! :)
SpellOutloud on October 23, 2009:
Great examples of crafts. We've done several of these through the yeas. Nice lens!
AlisonMeacham on October 23, 2009:
Wonderful lens. Yet another well deserved Squid Angel Blessing
luvmyludwig lm on October 22, 2009:
This is wonderful! I am going to make that turkey hat.
*Blessed By A Squid Angel and Greeter*
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on October 22, 2009:
These are absolutely fabulous! I like all of them! I wonder if I could get my children to do that hand/foot turkey for me? Do you think 20 & 24 is too old to make the turkey:) Maybe I will deny them Thanksgiving dinner/Pumpkin Pie until that make one for me.
HorseAndPony LM on October 22, 2009:
I love the Turkey Treats. How cute. We will add those to our To Make list. Thanks for the ideas.
Joan4 on October 22, 2009:
Great Thanksgiving ideas! Blessed!
The Party Animal from Partytown USA on October 22, 2009:
I love all these ideas put together - Great Job - this will no doubt be useful for parents. You have been Blessed by The Party Animal. Party On....