Thanksgiving ideas to keep little hands busy

Today’s post actually comes from Joanne, a preschool teacher friend of mine. She put together these crafts for her classroom last year and I thought it would be great to share those same ideas with you. These are perfect for keeping little hands occupied and preparing for the coming week of giving thanks.

Turkey hats

This by far is the cutest project I send home for Thanksgiving! We do this activity after discussing parts of our body and compare them to the parts of a turkey (show me your eyes, show me your nose, show me your gobbler!). This project also incorporates naming different shapes and colors. Older children can cut out their own faces, eyes, beaks and gobblers.

Tip: Brown paper bags from the grocery store are lifesavers at Thanksgiving. No need to buy construction paper.

Handprint Thanksgiving cards

I think that the handprint turkey is more traditional than cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving time. But this keepsake serves as a wonderful reminder of how little your child was at one point – and makes a great place card or gift for relatives.

I set out different colored paints and asked my students to name which colors they wanted to use. For older children, I let them paint their own hands to make it more personal.

The poem I use is the same one from a card I gave my parents in 1989: This isn't just a turkey, as you can plainly see. I made it with my hand, which is a part of me. It comes with lots of love, especially to say: I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day!

If you’re feeling extra adventurous…

Handprint and footprint turkey

My students loved having the freedom of painting their own hands for this activity, and I enjoyed sitting back and doing nothing while they build up their fine motor skills (ha ha). The children stamped their hands on a piece of paper to create the turkey feathers. Next is the best part: tickling those little feet! (Make sure you have wet wipes or a bucket of soapy water handy so you don’t get little painted footprints all over your home). To complete this work of art, thumbprints can be used to create eyes, beak and gobbler.

With all the hubbub of department stores opening their doors at 8 p.m. for holiday shoppers, I now have one more activity to remember what Thanksgiving is truly about.

How do you celebrate Turkey Day? Do you put together special projects for your kids to get ready for the big day? Share with us on Pinterest!

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