One of the most difficult things about hosting Thanksgiving dinner (aside from
planning the menu) is getting my whole house in order and presentable enough for my extended family to visit for a few days. It takes time and energy, but it also requires my kids to either stay out of the way long enough for me to sweep up their pile of rouge LEGO pieces or actually pitch in and help. When they were toddlers, the latter wasn’t realistic, so I would always set them up with fun Thanksgiving kid crafts to keep them busy while I cleaned and prepped my fridge for Turkey Day.
Even if you aren’t hosting family this year, Thanksgiving crafts for toddlers and preschoolers are still a fun way to keep kids occupied, and an exciting way to get in the spirit of the season. Whether you want to make a keepsake footprint craft to remember just how tiny your little one is for Thanksgiving posterity or just need a quick toddler turkey craft your kid can make for grandma before she arrives for the holiday, this list has you covered.
So, before you replenish your kids’ craft supply stash with a stocking filled with glitter, glue, and multicolored pom-poms on Christmas Day, take a look at this list and use every last pony bead, googly eye, and square of tissue paper to create these Thanksgiving crafts for kids, toddlers, and preschoolers.
1 Classic Pinecone Turkey Craft
When you want to make a Thanksgiving craft with a toddler, the simpler the idea is, the better the project will be — for you and your tot. This
pinecone turkey craft from DIY Candy is the easiest Thanksgiving masterpiece on this list, but it will still look just adorable in the middle of your table on Turkey Day. It’s literally just a pinecone with some feathers, eyes, and a beak glued on. As a bonus, the “glue” mixture is made from edible ingredients like sugar and flour, so it’s safe for toddlers who just can’t keep their hands out of their mouths to lick off of their fingers. 2 Mason Jar Turkey Craft
Who knew that colorful pipe cleaners, a pair of googly eyes, and some festive ribbon could transform the top of a mason jar into a fun Thanksgiving turkey? This tutorial from
30 Minute Crafts shows you how to execute this adorable craft with your kids. Since it’s basically just gluing things to a jar lid, kids of any age can successfully make this craft, and it actually doesn’t take much time at all to put together. You can fill the inside of each jar with candy corn for a really cute gift to give teachers, friends, grandparents, and anyone else who you want to share a bit of handmade joy with this Thanksgiving. 3 Yarn Turkey Craft
How cute is this Thanksgiving
turkey puppet craft from handmade Charlotte? I literally want one at every seat this Thanksgiving, and we have a bucket full of old tennis balls in the garage ready and waiting to complete this project. Because of the fine motor skills required to wind the yarn around the tennis ball and craft the rest of the puppet, this craft is best suited for elementary school-aged kids. Younger kids could definitely take part in this craft, but they would need quite a bit of help to make the DIY pom pom, cut the small details out for the turkey’s face, and glue it all together. 4 Turkey Windsock Craft
If you’re looking for a way to recycle all of those green bean cans once you’ve prepped your casserole, this
turkey windsock craft from A Little Craft In Your Day is an easy reach. Preschoolers may need a little help painting the cans, so this craft is great for older kids who want to pitch in and help the little ones out. But after the can is painted, gluing the ribbons, eyes, and construction paper feathers into place is easy enough for tiny fingers to complete. When this craft is complete, you can hang it on your front porch or stick it on your mailbox as a way to let your Thanksgiving guests know where the party’s at. 5 Footprint Turkeys
If you want a Thanksgiving craft project that will memorialize your toddlers tiny feet for years to come, this
footprint turkey craft from Meaningful Mama is a fun one to make together. It’s a cool twist on the iconic handprint turkey crafts that every little kid makes at least once in their life. Yes, you’ll have to guide your tot quite a bit through the process of painting their foot and pressing it into the paper to get the perfect print and then making the multicolored tissue paper mosaic wings using their handprint as a guide, but the end result is totally worth it. 6 Embroidery Hoop Turkey
embroidery hoop turkey project from DIY Candy is one Thanksgiving craft for kids to make that looks way more complicated and upscale than it actually is. While the craft does use embroidery hoops as the base of the turkey, there’s not actually any embroidery skills required to make this feathered bird — it's just a lot of cutting felt, gluing pieces together, and assembling parts. This turkey is definitely a craft that’s geared toward older kids who can handle low-temp hot glue, but this would also be a fun craft for parents and younger kids to create together. 7 Toilet Paper Roll Turkey
Are you really even a parent if you haven’t helped your kids transform a simple
toilet paper roll into a colorful Thanksgiving turkey at some point? You can take part in this rite of passage this Thanksgiving with this tutorial from Pink Stripey Socks. It’s a super simple craft that kids of all ages from toddlers to preschoolers and even older children can create. All you need is a toilet paper roll, cardboard scraps from a cereal box, a pair of scissors, some markers (or paint, if you're brave), and plenty of creativity to make this colorful and adorable project. 8 Leaf Bean Mosaics
Will these gorgeous
fall leaf bean mosaics from Handmade Charlotte look as neat and orderly if you let your toddler or preschooler make them on their own? Probably not. But is it a fun Thanksgiving craft that will keep their little hands occupied and out of the way for the half hour you need to prep your pie crusts in peace? It absolutely is. All you have to do is prep the cardboard cutouts in different fall leaf shapes for them, give them a glue stick, throw some dry beans and lentils their way, and let them have at it. 9 Terra Cotta Turkey Pot Craft
terra cotta turkey pot craft from A Little Craft In Your Day is great for kids preschool aged and up to create. The head is made from air dry clay rolled into a ball, which is super fun for little hands to mold and shape, and what little kid wouldn’t love to cover a tiny terracotta pot completely with brown paint? Once the clay and pot are dry, all that you have to do is glue on the feathers, two feet, and some googly eyes, then wrap a ribbon around the turkey’s neck to create this cute tabletop decoration. 10 Hand & Foot Cut-Out Turkey
This super simple Thanksgiving craft from the blog That’s What Che Said is an easy way to get kids in the spirit of the season with minimal effort. Using their hands and feet as a guide, they can trace the turkey’s body and feathers on colorful construction paper, cut them out, and glue the pieces together. (It won’t be perfect if they do it themselves, but that’s part of the fun!) A triangle beak, teardrop gobbler, and two googly eyes complete the turkey’s face. Hang these little guys on the fridge, around the dining room, or anywhere that you want to spread a little Thanksgiving cheer.
11 Turkey Table Topper Craft
If you need a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table, head to your laundry room and empty out your Tide Pods container. This
DIY turkey craft from This Grandma Is Fun is so easy to execute and it makes an adorable table topper for the kids table at Thanksgiving dinner. All you need is an empty Tide Pods container (be sure to store any pods you removed in a child-proof container, out of their reach), construction paper for the feathers, and this handy turkey face printout. Cut the face out, glue it to the front of the container (it’s already orange, so it works perfectly here), and add strips of construction paper to the back, fanned out like feathers. 12 A Leaf-Covered Pumpkin Thanksgiving Craft
Looking for a way to transform your leftover Halloween pumpkins into a Thanksgiving craft for preschoolers? Put this
leaf-covered pumpkin tutorial from Girl Loves Glam on your Thanksgiving to-do list. Though the tutorial calls for faux leaves and pumpkins from the craft store, you could easily swap the fake stuff for real and let your little ones go nuts gluing real leaves to actual pumpkins outside. Mix it up with leaves in varying shapes and sizes, stick them on in different directions, or experiment with a variety of autumn colors to create a kid-friendly Thanksgiving craft that’s as beautiful as it is fun to make. 13 Wood Block Thanksgiving Turkey Craft
DIY wood block turkey craft is one of the best turkey ideas for preschool because it takes time to complete. (I know, but stick with me!) This is one Thanksgiving craft that you can actually complete with your kids in stages. First, paint the wooden blocks. It will take some time to let the blocks dry, so you can either jump right into the next steps to prepare for the rest of the craft, or give your little ones a bit of a break before moving on. Once dry, add construction paper cutouts for the beak, use whiteout to dot on the eyes, and glue an assortment of feathers to the back. Make one or make a whole flock — it’s really up to you and your kids!
From easy turkey crafts for toddlers to project ideas for preschoolers, a Thanksgiving craft made by your kids is a keepsake and a holiday decoration all in one. Whether you gather pine cones from the backyard or head to the craft store to buy supplies in bulk, you really can’t go wrong with these fun and simple Thanksgiving crafts for kids.
This article was originally published on
November 11, 2021