There are a lot of ways to encourage your child's creativity this Thanksgiving. To help you out this Thanksgiving, we compiled a list of our favorite Turkey Day activities that meet two criteria. First off, they're easy for parents to set up, because we know just how busy the holidays get. Second, these activities are perfect for younger children. Keep reading for a breakdown on how to make your family's Thanksgiving memorable.
Edible Pumpkin Play Dough
This edible play dough recipe creates a fun and delicious activity for your kids. Use cookie cutters and utensils to make Thanksgiving-themed creations (pumpkins are perfect for this orange dough), or let your kids mold whatever their little hearts desire. The dough packs down into a container or baggy, just don't forget to refrigerate to keep it fresh!
Get the recipe from Smart School House.
Turkey Baster Relay
Get your family up and active with this simple relay race activity. All you need is a turkey baster, a few feathers, and a small box. To complete the race, your kids need to use the baster to puff the feathers from one side of the room to the other. For older kids, make it more difficult by getting them to hop, skip, or crawl their way to the finish line.
For more details, visit The Inspired Treehouse.
Turkey Balloon Rockets
What if you don't want a gaggle of kids running about the house? Tell them to race turkeys instead! This creative activity lets kids enjoy the excitement of a race in a contained space. You can also use the race as a simple science experiment.
Learn more at Growing a Jeweled Rose.
Sit your kids down for some quiet creative time with these printable placemats. Our first favorite placemat combines drawing, coloring, and word puzzles to keep kids entertained. The second focuses on drawing and encouraging kids to use their noggins to design a special Thanksgiving dessert. Both ask kids to think of what they're thankful for.
Improved Footprint Turkey Craft
This craft takes something you're probably familiar with — making a footprint turkey — and takes it to the next level by painting stained-glass feathers on tissue paper. You can simplify it by sticking with the basic footprint turkey for younger children or jump all in for your entire family. Don't forget the googly eyes!
Find out how to make your special footprint turkeys at Meaningful Mama.
Drawing Lessons For Little Turkeys
Start with basic lines and shapes to teach your young ones how to draw their own pilgrims and turkeys. Once your child finishes his or her simple drawing, bring out the crayons or watercolors and have them color in their own creations!
Artist Jenny Knappenberger demonstrates how to teach young children how to draw Thanksgiving pictures on her blog. Check it out!
Gratitude Turkey Pumpkin
Use this activity to teach your child a valuable lesson about gratitude. For this you'll need a pumpkin, construction paper, and wooden skewers. Help your child write what he or she is grateful for on each of the turkey's paper feathers. If you're short on a pumpkin or skewers, you can easily transform this craft into a more simple drawing exercise.
For instructions on how to construct the turkey pumpkin, go to Toddler Approved.
Sticky Paper Turkey Dress-Up
Dress a naked turkey with a heaping of feathers in this educational craft. This exercise is great for teaching patterns and teamwork. All you need is sticky paper, a cut-out paper turkey, and a bag full of different colored feathers. Grab the family and have them work together to create beautiful feather patterns. One fun way to engage young minds is by asking your children to identify each color and alternate between colors as they “dress” the turkey.
Go to Teach Preschool for more ideas on how to make this craft educational.
Feed the Turkey
Recycle an old jar and use this activity to keep your children busy while you finish cooking Thanksgiving dinner. This is an easy grab and drop exercise that works on motor skills, counting, color identification, patterns, math, and so much more! Keep your child learning by assigning a different task at a time.
Learn more about this educational craft at Busy Toddler.
If your family wants to tackle a bigger project, have your kids create their own Thanksgiving tablecloth. This works well with markers and butcher paper, or coloring pencils and crayons for younger children.
Head on over to Fun Hand Print Art Blog for some great Thanksgiving-themed drawing prompts.
Want More Kid-Friendly Crafts?
Head on over to the Jellies blog for ideas on how to inspire your child's creativity and how to keep your family safe with technology. You might also want to download the Jellies app to continue your child's education and encourage their imagination. Our arts and crafts videos show your child how to create amazing things with the everyday items in your home. Learn more about Jellies at jelliesapp.com.