This year, for Thanksgiving, I chose crafts to keep the kids busy at our gathering. I wanted to keep it contained and interesting, with things they could do on their own without any messy components like glue or scissors.
I prepared all of the pieces for each craft ahead of time, so on the day of, I could just place them out on a paper-covered table, and let the kids go at them!
There were three different projects they could choose from.
Materials to create with: poster board bands, feathers, markers.
To prepare this craft, I cut strips of poster board that were 23 inches long. On one end, I notched it to look like a dull arrow. On the other end, I used an exacto blade to cut 5 vertical slits about an inch apart. In the middle, I used the blade again to cut sets of 2 horizontal lines (one on top of the other- about 3 inches apart). This way, it eliminates the need to be taped closed, or even the use of glue for feathers. Everything inserts! Easy peasy.
Materials to create: pre-cut string, beads, gluten-free macaroni
We have serious gluten allergies here, so we used a GF noodle, but this also works well with wheat pasta. I pre-cut lengths of stretchy string, and knotted a bead on one end to get them started.
Materials to create: halved toilet paper tubes, double sided tape, felt pieces, feathers, markers.
All I had to do for this one, was cut the toilet paper tubes in half, then slit them open vertically. They amazingly stay on all sized wrists and are pretty stylish looking.
The overall theme is to honor Native Americans and the gracious sharing of that very first Thanksgiving meal with strangers to the land.
Even though we used non-traditional materials, I think it is important to show our children how many cultures make up this wonderful country of ours, and how we all meld together as Humans, even symbolically. There is a common good that I want my girls to know. Truly to be thankful for all that they have, and more importantly, have to give.
“I’m thankful for my home my friends my food and all the guests at this table”.
These crafts not only opened up conversations, they kept the kids busy while the grown-ups chatted and had a grand ol’ time as well.
What eventually happened was the grown-ups migrated to the kids’ table and started to craft too.
I call that a successful activity…for all ages.
What do you do to keep the kids busy before the food comes out?