5 “Totally Sweet” Thanksgiving Crafts & Learning Activities

5-totally-sweet-THANKSGIVING-crafts-collage-main

OK. So our first activity is “sweet” ’cuz it actually involves CHOCOLATE! {Yeah, we thought that might get your attention.} The others are “totally sweet” in the adorable sense of the word.

Today’s clever crafts and learning activities are written by our Melissa & Doug guest bloggers and Blog Ambassadors. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, we’d like to take a quick moment to express our gratitude to these women for their work: Katie Heap, Allison McDonald, Amy Mascott, Valerie Deneen, and Zina Harrington. Thank you for these and all the other fantastic ideas you’ve shared with us all year long.

Now on with the show . . .

1. M&M Turkey Favors: A Thanksgiving Turkey Craft for Kids

M&M-Turkey-Favor

Make the “children’s table” THE place to be this year by dressing it up with these adorable Teeny-Tiny Tulle Turkeys! Your chocolate-lovin’ grown-up guests will be so jealous. They’re inexpensive to make — especially if you raid your child’s Halloween bucket for leftover M&Ms! Click here to get step-by-step instructions from Katie for making these M&M Turkey Favors. Your kids will surely “gobble” them up!

Round out the look of your children’s table by having the kids make a matching Turkey Plate to dine from — another great Thanksgiving craft from Katie Heap. What a fun way to keep the kiddos busy and happy on Thanksgiving Day!

2. Thanksgiving Turkey Math Game for Kids

turkey-fact-families-and-color-sorting-

Disguise math practice for your kids by making a game of creating “a rafter of turkeys.” (Yep, a group of turkeys is called a “rafter.” Seriously. You can check it out here.) Begin by using a non-rolling marker to code each turkey with a set of numbers (e.g., 1, 4, 5). Then create “equation feathers” using different combinations of those numbers. For example:

1 + 4 = 5

5 – 1 = 4

4 + 1 = 5

5 – 4 = 1

Have children find and match the “equation feathers” that contain the numbers in the corresponding math family. (Make more feathers than needed, which can then be used to make other turkeys using different math families.) Get all the details for this learning activity in Allison’s full post: Thanksgiving Math for Kids. Hint: This activity can easily be simplified for little ones by having children simply sort the colored feathers to make some corkboard turkeys!

3. Festive Window Turkeys

Festive-Window-Turkeys-Collage

You’ve heard of Build-a-BEAR, but have you ever heard of Build-a-TURKEY? That’s precisely what you do in this clever — and vertical — craft. All you need is craft foam, scissors, water, and a window! In her full post, Valerie gives you step-by-step instructions for quickly creating these adorable turkeys to decorate your windows for the holiday. Because they’re just held together with water, these turkeys can be built again and again in all sorts of silly ways. Use the different versions your kids come up with as story prompts, or utilize the feathers as a fun space to write down your child’s answers while playing a game of The Thanksgiving Box of Questions. Get all the details for making these festive window turkeys in Valerie’s post Quick Thanksgiving Craft for Kids.

4. Gratitude Gift: Wooden THANK-YOU TRAYS

wooden-thank-you-trays-cover-b1

Have your children create custom shadow boxes (minus the pesky glass) featuring artifacts, words, and pictures of all the reasons they’re thankful to have their loved ones in their life. First, have your child brainstorm a list of everyone for whom they are thankful: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors, teachers, parents, siblings — even stuffed animals and pets. Next, talk about all the things you love about spending time with them: their hugs, smiles, jokes, shared interests, special events — what have you. Then use stickers, symbols, pictures, tickets, paint, toys, etc., to transform a deep wooden frame (or recycle a Melissa & Doug wooden tray!) into a customized shadow box for a special loved one (or two). Makes a great keepsake gift to display on a shelf each November for years to come! To get the details for making this great Gratitude Gift, check out Amy’s full post here.

5. 5 Easy Ways to Help Your Child Start a Gratitude Journal

5-easy-ways-gratitude-journal

It’s true of parents and kids alike — Writing is waaay more fun when you have a fancy writing utensil (for example, a metallic gel pen or a Blendy Pen). Having a fun pen will certainly help generate interest in your gratitude project from the get-go. Remember to keep things simple to start: Gratitude journals can be done with pictures or single words for children — and they don’t have to be done every day. When your child is having an “off” day, encourage them to reread some of the entries. What a quick pick-me-up! Get story ideas and tips for this child-focused writing project on Zina’s blog in the full post: How to Help Your Child Start a Gratitude Journal.

And for even more tips on helping your children grow up to be gracious and thankful, see our recent post Raising Thankful Kids featuring a collection of ideas from several of the Melissa & Doug bloggers named above!

* * *

A heartfelt THANK YOU to our guest bloggers for sharing these creative Thanksgiving craft and learning activities! The Blog Ambassador program at Melissa & Doug brings together writers who are parents, educators, and specialists to share their ideas, activities, and feedback on early learning, creative play, parenting, special needs, and more. As part of the Melissa & Doug family, they’re dedicated to providing parents and educators with ideas for Creative Play – Every Day! Learn more about these talented professionals on our M&D Bloggers Pinterest board.

And get EVEN MORE IDEAS for celebrating this heart-warming time of year on our FALL FUN Pinterest board.

THANK YOU for reading!