Are you wondering how to entertain your kids while they are off from school and all nestled under your wing for the holiday break? Well, you are in luck. I have created a guide to get the kids involved with the holiday season and get them out from behind the TV screen. This is a guide that allows the children to experience the creative side of the holiday and lets them make something a little extra special for the holiday season this year.
Make your own paper turkey
No Thanksgiving is complete without a turkey so here is a way to get your kids involved in making their own turkey. For this activity all you will need is:
- construction paper
- glue (liquid or stick, which ever you prefer)
- a black marker
To create the turkey:
- Begin by cutting a sheet of brown construction paper into a large oval shape. This is your center piece that will become the belly of your turkey.
- Cut a piece of black construction paper into the shape of a leg for a turkey and remember you need to make two of these. (A trick to get the legs identical is to fold your sheet of paper so that you may cut out two and this will also save you a step by avoiding cutting it out twice.)
- Now you can start on cutting out the head, which requires one sheet of orange paper.
- After this is done you will need a red piece of construction paper so that you can cut out what my kids love to call the turkey’s gobbler.
- After you have finished all your cutting you can begin to assemble the turkey by gluing the parts of the turkey together. Here is where the fun part comes in. My children like to use odd colors that really do not have a color basis to the turkey and they make their own feathers for the turkey, but another nice idea is to add real feathers which can be purchased at a craft store and even some dollar stores carry them.
- Once you have your turkey assembled you can then take the black marker and draw the eyes on, unless you would prefer to use something different such as decal eyes that can be purchased at your local craft store as well. Once you have your eyes done, your turkey is complete.
Money saving tip for this project: If you have more than one child creating this project make sure to have your child cut their pieces from the corner of the paper to avoid wasting a big piece of paper for a small piece. You can recycle the paper and let another child use it. You can avoid spending tons of money on construction paper and do your part in saving a tree.
Holiday table name tags
Another nifty craft that I have found my children love to do on the holiday is create name tags for all the family guests that are attending our house for our holiday dinner. We use the name tags as a seating arrangement and this prepares a seat for everyone in advance so that cuts out some confusion and this allows the children to feel like they have helped in the holiday set up. This project is fairly simple and can be done in very little time.
The supplies you need for this project are:
- index cards
- a list of guests you are expecting
- my children always like to add thanksgiving stickers to theirs for an added touch, but this is not necessary and in fact you can alter your name tags to look like anything you would like
All you do for this project is:
- fold the index card in half short ways
- on either side write the name of one of your guests
- decorate the card any way you see fit.
- When all the cards are completed you can then sit them around the table giving everyone a place to sit.
(This is also a wonderful way to introduce family and friends that may not have met. People can get familiar with each other and know their names if the tags are set out on the table.)
Homemade place mats
Homemade place mats are a wonderful way to decorate for the holiday without spending a ton of money on decorations for something that only happens one time a year. Children will love this and it allows them to get involved and be creative, as well as showcase their creativity to all your guests.
The supplies for this are fairly simple and you can tailor your list to whatever you have around the house or whatever idea you may have on your own. My children use:
- full sheets of construction paper of various colors for the base of the place mat
- things for decoration such as glitter, macaroni, even other shapes cut from construction paper. You can use anything you want. My youngest just likes to use markers and create pictures for the place mats.
To make a place mat, simply glue the items to the paper creating little designs. The possibilities for a project like this are endless; let your creative side shine through and these place mats are sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Window décor wind chimes
Trying to save some money this holiday? A great idea that decorates the house that can get the kids involved is making window decorations from scratch and your kids will be very excited to showcase their creative side to the neighborhood. Some supplies my children use for this project are:
- construction paper
- scotch tape
- a hole punch
Our favorite window decoration to make would have to be the Thanksgiving wind chimes.
- Start by cutting a large piece of construction paper into a unique.
- Cut three or four smaller pieces of various color construction papers to make a design. It is easiest to decorate all your pieces of paper if you do so before you attach them.
- Once you have your papers decorated any way that you like, you start the connecting process. Depending on how many small add on decorations you have made you will need to punch that many holes in the bottom of your larger paper. Each smaller piece will only have one hole.
- Add one hole at the top of you large piece. For explanation’s sake we will say that you have three small decorations. You will need to cut three pieces of yarn that are all different in length and long enough to dangle your decorations neatly.
- Tie on your smaller decorations to your larger piece creating a wind chime look.
- Finish our Thanksgiving Day wind chime by adding one last piece of yarn to the top and then tape your single strand of yarn onto the window.
This is a wonderful way to show your holiday cheer and keep the kids entertained on their holiday vacation.
Laminated Family collage Place mats
This idea is more for those who like to go over the top for the holidays. What you need are family photos and laminating paper and you can either use construction paper or computer paper, scissors and a glue stick. This is another place mat idea; however, these place mats can be used as gifts, can be used all year round or can be reused for many holiday seasons to come. This craft is what my family calls our family collage place mats. (These can be used to make gifts for any occasion especially if you are on a budget.)
Start with the platform piece, which is either construction paper or computer paper:
- Take family photos and cut and glue them in collage design to the paper.
- Stick the project in between two sheets of laminating paper. (This will allow the place mat to keep its form and not get ruined.) If you are a person who loves to add your own little touch to things you can add stickers or glitter to the place mat before adding the laminating paper.
(Remember once you place the project in the laminating paper you cannot add anything else to it, so be sure and get all that you want in there before you do this.)
These ideas are simple and fun and can keep your children entertained while they are enjoying their holiday vacation. Any of these crafts are sure to be a huge hit with the kids as well as your guests. Keep in mind that creativity is a way to do things as a family and there is no wrong way to create any of these projects. See what you come up with and add your own little unique spin to any of these projects creating lots of holiday cheer.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!