Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, gratitude…and crafts galore! If you cannot bring yourself to make one more handprint turkey with your children or students, then this list will give you peace of mind. Although some of these crafts do involve handprints (and footprints, and fingerprints), not one of them will turn into an entire turkey. Thanksgiving is saved!
And not all of these crafts involve turkeys, either. There are pumpkins, like #1 and #8; scarecrows (#9 and #30); celebrations of fall leaves at #7 and #24; corn crafts like #11; even a Thanksgiving hedgehog (#6)! Though, of course, there are turkeys galore, from painted to paper-maché. Whatever your child’s artistic abilities or your patience levels, there is sure to be a delightful Thanksgiving craft listed here that everyone will enjoy making together.
If your Thanksgiving dinner involves more than a few small children, prep some of these crafts in advance to keep them happily occupied before the food is served. And if your child’s class is having a Thanksgiving party before the short school break, pick out a few simple crafts that everyone can do themselves and bring the materials to the classroom.
However you observe, you can celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving with a craft from our list!
1. This Pumpkin’s On A Roll
Image source: One Creative Mommy
Kids who have just learned how to safely use scissors usually want to show off their new skills. Hand yours some pieces of orange construction paper and have them cut straight strips, then head over to One Creative Mommy to learn how to turn those strips into this darling pumpkin craft for fall. With a little bit of glue and some help from your crafty youngster, this project comes together in no time at all! This is fantastic for budding hand-eye coordination and spatial recognition, especially with strips of paper rolled into different sizes. Can’t quite get a pumpkin shape together? Draw one ahead of time to use as your guide.
2. Turkeys That Go
Image source: Glued To My Crafts
Vroom-vroom! No, that’s not the sound of all your relatives arriving at once, it’s this sweet and easy turkey car from Glued To My Crafts! With just a few pieces of construction paper and a paper plate, you’ve got everything you need to get started on this clever Thanksgiving craft that kids will absolutely love. And since they will almost certainly ask if they can help, you can feel good about saying, “YES!” Trace their hands on different colors of construction paper for the turkey’s tail. When the turkey car is complete, encourage your child to give it to a grandparent as a lovely Thanksgiving keepsake — or tape it to the fridge for everyone to enjoy!
3. Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Creative Family Fun
Every child knows that the two stars of the Thanksgiving story — besides the turkey — are the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans. With a simple empty toilet paper roll (or cut paper towel roll) you and your child can craft a Pilgrim’s hat that can serve as part of your Thanksgiving decorations. For teachers, this Thanksgiving craft from Creative Family Fun goes well with stories about the first Thanksgiving and what it means for our nation’s history. And while this hat is too small for children to wear, it’s just the right size for little hands to carry home before Thanksgiving break!
4. A Delicious Slice Of Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Glued To My Crafts
While you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, make sure to save room for a slice of pumpkin pie! Glued To My Crafts does it again with an amazing — and amazingly simple — Thanksgiving craft that children can enjoy making while they wait for dinner to be ready. In the classroom, this craft goes with any other Thanksgiving dinner projects you might be doing with your students, whether it’s creating an entire meal or having the children make their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Don’t forget the cotton ball ice cream on top!
5. Popsicle Stick Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: About A Mom
Craft sticks are a perennial favorite of homes and classrooms, and it’s not hard to see why: they are endlessly versatile and easy for children to use. Over at About A Mom, you’ll find a clever way to paint and glue these flat pieces of wood together to create a fun and silly Thanksgiving turkey craft. Big googly eyes and pipe cleaner legs make this project extra fun for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Everyday handprint turkeys are a thing of the past when you make this happy fella!
6. Hedgehogs Three Ways
Image source: I Heart Crafty Things
The first animal that comes to mind when you hear the word, “Thanksgiving,” may not be a hedgehog, but after making this craft with your snuggly little one, it soon will be! I Heart Crafty Things has a three-for-one crafting bonanza that starts by downloading the free printable template. You can stock up on foam leaf stickers for one, or use a simple plastic fork and brown paint to keep things simple and easy. Bust this craft out in the afternoon when the parade is over and the grown-ups are either cooking or watching football, and the little kids need something to do. By the time dinner’s over, the paint and glue will be dry enough for them to take home their new hedgehog pals!
7. The Colors of Autumn
Image source: Projects With Kids
The clothespins-and-cotton-balls trick for painting is one of those secret weapons that veteran teachers and parents already know, and new parents are thrilled to discover. The clever folks at Projects With Kids put this technique to excellent use in making a beautiful fall tree. Painting with this method is especially helpful for children with limited fine-motor skills or very little toddlers. And, it’s just a whole lot of fun! If you sign up for the email list, you can even download a free template to get you started.
8. No-Pie Pumkin Craft
Image source: One Little Project
Here’s a Thanksgiving craft that’s fun and delicious! If your family loves Rice Krispie Treats, then these are a must-make for Thanksgiving. And don’t worry: the cool mom at One Little Project knows all the pains and frustrations of sticky Rice Krispie Treats and has you covered with some excellent hacks for getting yours into pumpkin shapes without getting stuck to everything in sight. These are so pretty and adorable, and make a lovely addition to any Thanksgiving dessert table.
9. Scarecrow Autumn Craft
Image source: One Sharp Bunch
Scarecrows are a lively and festive addition to any fall crafting project, and this one from One Sharp Bunch is sure to make you smile. This smiling friend fits in perfectly with other autumnal art decorating your house or classroom, including colorful fall trees, pumpkins, and, of course, turkeys! The bright orange hat, great big googly eyes, and friendly smile are enhanced by a yellow flower decoration, straw hair, and a silly orange felt nose. Glue some magnets to the back and you’ve got a new refrigerator pal!
10. Upcycled Windsock Turkey Craft
Image source: Happiness Is Homemade
The creative minds over at Happiness Is Homemade has this absolutely darling Thanksgiving craft that will have your guests gushing with glee. These are super cute and really give your holiday decor a little “pop!” One of the best things about this craft is how creative you can get: if you are so inclined, take your little artists to the craft store to help you pick out some red, orange, and yellow ribbons in fun, festive patterns. Use crafting feathers or cut-out construction paper ones for the top. Any way you do it is bound to turn out delightful and adorable!
11. Fine Motor Skills Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Kids Activities
Corn is a staple side dish for most Thanksgiving feasts, whether it comes on the cob or baked into cornbread. This Kids Activities craft looks almost good enough to eat, but it’s actually a great fine motor skills activity for kids! The ribbon can be any color or pattern you like, but the meat of this craft is for children to glue on kernels of corn one at a time. You might want to set this craft up in a shallow tray to minimize the mess of stray kernels! This craft is definitely going to keep kids busy for a while, so it’s a good one to set up while you’re cooking dinner.
12. Keepsake Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: The Chirping Moms
Thanksgiving means food, family, and sharing happy memories. Make something with your child that will preserve this Thanksgiving forever with a simple and sweet photo frame from The Chirping Moms. Crafting feathers, giant googly eyes, and a little beak make it whimsical, while the dark brown color matches the season. If you make these far enough ahead of time, you can add photos of your children before your guests arrive and then give these out as keepsakes for grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Be sure to keep one for yourself so you can remember this Thanksgiving for years to come.
13. Tom Thumb Turkey Craft
Image source: There’s Magic Out There
This Thanksgiving craft will definitely require your help, but it’ll be worth it when you see the results. It’ll also be worth the effort (and mess!) to see how much this craft will have your child giggling and enjoying your special time together. There’s Magic Out There has all the tips and tricks you need to get started, whether you make this at home or in the classroom. For a class project, why not have each child “donate” a fingerprint to make one big class turkey? It’s a wonderful way to build teamwork and learn how to take turns!
14. Nature’s Turkey Craft
Image source: Live Craft Eat
Make a family autumn hike even more special by collecting pinecones with your children. When you get home, you have the basis for this gorgeous Thanksgiving craft! Make sure to read the directions at Live Craft Eat so that you can get this tricky project just right. (Hint: use very small paintbrushes.) Smaller hands and those without fully developed fine motor skills will need some guidance here, but second graders on up will have a blast doing this all by themselves. Place these on a fireplace mantel for your guests to see on Thanksgiving, or tuck them into nooks and corners around the house for a special surprise!
15. Painted Flower Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Hello Wonderful
Why should spring get all the bright, beautiful colors? Celebrate fall with any colors you want with a beautiful flower made from paint, corn husks, and craft sticks. Thanks to Hello Wonderful, now your Thanksgiving crafting can take a break from all the oranges, yellows, and browns, and bust out the pinks, blues, and greens! If you are having a big dinner, make a bunch of these with your kids (with plenty of time for the paint to dry), then gather them together in a small vase or mason jar as the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table.
16. LEGO Stampers Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Crafty Morning
Here’s a craft that even the littlest artists can have fun with! The raised circles on LEGOs make perfect kernels of corn for this project from Crafty Morning. All your children or students need is the ability to pick up a LEGO and stamp in down onto a piece of paper. Easy peasy! To make it even simpler, have the children stamp their LEGOs onto a full sheet of paper and then cut out the corn shapes. Because it’s so easy to do, this craft is great for preschools, daycares, or for those days when you are home with a toddler who’s ready to get messy.
17. Fluffy Turkey Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Growing Up Gabel
If you enjoy a little warm fuzziness in your holidays, check out Growing Up Gabel for this sweet little turkey ball of fluff. Don’t let the homemade pom-pom intimidate you: the blog has carefully laid out each step in the process, along with photos, to guide you through it. If you are going to attend your child’s Thanksgiving party at school, these are great to set up ahead of time so that the students can simply glue on the tails, eyes, beaks, and legs. Make these ahead of family visits to give to all your child’s cousins, too!
18. “Feets” Of Crafting Thanksgiving Keepsake
Image source: A Little Pinch Of Perfect
Plain old handprint turkeys are so last year! Step up your game with these turkeys from A Little Pinch Of Perfect that uses your child’s hand AND feet. What could be more fun than painting a tiny foot? It’ll bring out the giggles in both of you! (Make sure to lay out some newsprint or paper towels first, to avoid footprints all over your house.) This craft is just too adorable to resist, and you’ll definitely want to take good care of it once Thanksgiving is over so that you can enjoy the memories it evokes year after year.
19. Thanksgiving Craft Egg-stravaganza
Image source: Living Well Mom
When your Thanksgiving prep involves eggs, don’t throw away the cartons! Upcycle them into these silly turkey crafts from Living Well Mom. These can be made well ahead of Thanksgiving so that all the paint has time to dry. Very little kids can paint the egg holders, while older kids with more developed fine motor skills can cut out tail feathers or glue the painted egg holders together. It’s an entire family activity! Or, make these in a classroom and have your students write one thing they are thankful for on each tail feather.
20. Glamour Turkey Craft
Image source: Young At Heart Mommy
What’s more fun than colorful crafting feathers and shiny sequins? Put them together to make this unusual but super creative turkey for Thanksgiving! Young At Heart Mommy is clever enough to show you how to get started making this eye-catching project with your children or students. And with an endless combination of colors to choose from, no two turkeys will be exactly the same! Kids will have a lot of fun with this one, and it’s definitely a turkey craft unlike any other.
21. Thanksgiving Name Game
Image source: Growing Book By Book
This clever and creative project is both a craft AND a learning activity for children! Thanks to Growing Book By Book, you and your child can make this darling turkey together; when the plate is colored and the eyes, beak, and legs are attached, write each letter of the child’s name on a different construction paper “feather,” and hide them for the child to find. If you have preschoolers at home, this is a must-make to help them learn how to spell their names. The longer their name, the longer the game!
22. Free Turkey Hat Template
Image source: Preparing For Peanut
Excuse me, is that a turkey on your head? Why, yes it is! The generous creatives at Preparing For Peanut have a free printable template that you can download directly from the blog to trace and cut. Be sure to read all the directions so you can try out the blog’s hot tips and tricks for this craft. While you are making these for the toddlers and preschoolers at your Thanksgiving dinner, why not try to make one for everyone and see which grownups are brave enough to wear this!
23. Decorative Pumpkin Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Mom Always Finds Out
Nothing says “fall” quite like pumpkins, right? Now that you are done carving real ones, grab a craft pumpkin and get ready to paint it for your Thanksgiving decorating. Over at Mom Always Finds Out, you’ll see some stunning inspiration for this craft that is both simple and elegant. The white background of a crafting pumpkin makes fall-colored handprints really pop. If you have several children, they can each contribute a single handprint to go all the way around the pumpkin, or one child can do both hands. Feeling ambitious? Hand your children a Sharpie and ask them to write their names by their handprints.
24. DIY Thanksgiving Wreath Craft
Image source: Teaching 2 And 3 Year Olds
Before you hang your Christmas one, get messy making this Thanksgiving wreath with your toddlers and preschoolers. Teaching 2 And 3 Year Olds shows you how wonderfully easy it is to make this special craft out of little more than a paper plate, glue, and paint. Be sure to give the kids some extra fun little baubles to add, such as large sequins or sticker jewels. For kids with limited fine motor skills, this is a fantastic way to practice hand-eye coordination as they glue their wreath together bit by bit. Not only will this craft look good at Thanksgiving, but it’s a keepsake to enjoy year after year.
25. Paper-maché Turkey Piñata
Image source: Handmade Charlotte
Start a new Thanksgiving tradition with a DIY turkey piñata! This clever and awesome craft comes from Handmade Charlotte, who breaks down the process into easy, bite-sized pieces that are simple to follow, even if you’ve never made paper-maché before. If you make these small enough, you can fit one onto everyone’s place setting before dinner; or make a giant one for all the kids to enjoy after the meal. If you’re worried about too much sugar having the kids bouncing off the walls, simply fill it with little toys. Everyone will love this Thanksgiving surprise!
26. You Won’t Be-Leaf This Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Easy Peasy And Fun
Combine two fall favorites — turkeys and colorful leaves — into this one delightful craft from Easy Peasy And Fun. Take a walk outside to collect colorful leaves for the turkey’s tail; if you don’t live somewhere with fall foliage, simply head to the craft store to buy some. Best of all, the generous folks at the blog have a free printable template for you to download and use! The fun in this craft comes from encouraging your children or students to get really creative with the leaf tail: can they make a pattern? Match colors? Mix up types of leaves? It’s amazing what your little artists will come up with!
27. Mini-Pumpkin Thanksgiving Craft
Image source: Growing Up Bilingual
If you have tons of leftover mini-pumpkins from Halloween, don’t throw them away: upcycle them for Thanksgiving with this totally adorable craft from Growing Up Bilingual. Who can resist loving that little turkey with the great big googly eyes and giant beak? And with those brown foam feet sticking up like that, the little guy looks like he just plopped down to sit after running around with his turkey friends all day. Make these for the kids’ table this Thanksgiving, or to decorate a living room surface before your guests come over.
28. Catch Some Daylight
Image source: Crafts On Sea
The hours of sunshine wane in the fall, but you can catch what’s there with these easy autumnal sun catchers. Crafts On Sea has a fall variation on the beloved homemade suncatcher craft that will bring all the colors of a vivid fall day inside to enjoy. This is an especially wonderful craft to make if you live in an area without seasons and you want your children to experience the wonderful colors of fall. The bloggers generously provide a fall leaf template so you don’t have to draw them all freehand. Let the sunshine in!
29. A Bounty Of Candy
Image source: Happiness Is Homemade
Cornucopias are a symbol of the fall harvest and nature’s bounty, and Happiness Is Homemade shows you how to craft one yourself. But why fill it with fruits and vegetables, when you can fill it to bursting with CANDY! Keep this one hidden from guests with uncontrollable sweet-tooths, and bring it out to “ooohs” and “aaahs” after dinner. If you fill it up just right, the candy will spill out beautifully when you place it on the table. (Make sure you have extras of all the candy you use so that you don’t end up with a “Hunger Games” cornucopia situation!)
30. Thanksgiving Scarecrow
Image source: Messy Little Monster
For a fine-motor skills activity that’s Thanksgiving-related, check out Messy Little Monster’s paper plate scarecrow. By cutting out a mouth and stitching it together with yarn, children can practice that all-important hand-eye coordination. (And it looks really cool, too!) This scarecrow is made even more whimsical with the addition of bright pink cheeks and a sweet flower on its hat. It’s so easy to assemble that it makes a wonderful activity for a classroom Thanksgiving party.
31. Rainbow Turkey Craft
Image source: The Resourceful Mama
Upcycle those toilet paper rolls into a colorful turkey craft that really pops! It’s 3D so it stands up on its own, perfect for tables, shelves, or mantels. Click on over to The Resourceful Mama for the materials list and instructions that will get you started: it’s inexpensive and simple, perfect for dreary fall afternoons stuck at home with little ones. The finished craft is way beyond your old-fashioned handprint turkey and looks super adorable when it’s put together by toddlers and preschoolers. Let them have fun with colors when they make this!