Preparing the Thanksgiving feast could is a fine art; the last thing cooks need to complicate the process is children running wile through the kitchen. Save your sanity and the meal by keeping the little ones entertained. Set up an art table with supplies for a few of these crafts and put the older cousins in charge so you can concentrate on the important stuff…like pie. From perfect pinecone ornaments to sock puppet pilgrims, you’ll find a way to distract your busy bees.
While you prepare the feast, let the kids prepare their dinner attire—an Indian headdress or a Pilgrim hat. In addition to keeping the little ones occupied, this is a fun way to remind kids about what Thanksgiving is really about: the coming together of two different groups of people.
• Black paper cup
• Construction paper
• Glue stick
• Safety scissors
To make the pilgrim hat, cut out construction paper details, like a ribbon or buckle, and glue on to cup. Poke holes on opposite sides of the cup with a thumbtack (adult job). Widen the holes with a toothpick and thread a 20-inch length of round elastic cord through the holes and knot the ends.
For the Indian headdress, cut a band out of construction paper to fit around your child’s head and glue the opposite ends together so that it makes a circle. Make construction paper feathers and glue to the back of the band so that they stand up.
Have the kids reenact the pilgrims’ trip the New World or just let them loose to plan their own show.
• Adult slouch socks
• Craft glue
• Googly eyes
To create an Indian puppet, cut colored feathers out of felt and glue them to the ball of the sock. Use the yarn to create hair and braids and then glue the hair and eyes on the puppet. Create outfits out of felt and attach them to the leg portion of the sock.
To create a pilgrim puppet, use black felt to create a hat: cut out a small rectangle and glue ends together for a circle, cut out a small circle to top one end of the hat and a slightly larger circle for the other end to act as a brim. Glue the hat to the ball of the sock. Glue hair and eyes on the sock and add any garments you wish.
Set a time for the “play,” set out chairs for the audience, and enjoy!
This craft gets the kids out of the house for a bit and is great preparation for Christmas!
• Glitter paint
While you clean up dinner and arrange dessert, send the kids out to collect pinecones to decorate. Set up a craft table with glitter glue and paint brushes and have the kids paint their treasures—be sure to cover the table in newspaper! Let the pinecones dry, and then tie a ribbon around the top of the pinecone to hang from the Christmas tree in a month!
About the Author
Guest author, Maggie, is the oldest of four children and well-versed in the art of crafty distraction. When she’s not manning the art table during the holidays, Maggie works as a writer in Indianapolis.