The holidays always bring out my crafty side. I love getting my kids involved in anything hands on, especially if I can teach them lessons at the same time. These two crafts are both basedo n getting children to think about what they are thankful for, about what they have that many other people in the world don’t.
Thankful Tree- I love fall leaves. They are so pretty with their many shapes and colors. So I figured a craft with leaves would be right up my alley.
I made this really easy for the kids and cut out the tree trunk and leaves in pretty fall colors beforehand. I drew my own because I don’t have a working printer but if you are lucky enough to have one you can follow this handy link for some printouts. This was slightly tedious but with a glass of wine and my favorite show anything can be done!
I gave each kids a pen and asked them to think about what they were thankful for. At first they came up with the standard answers of children; family, candy, toys…So I prompted them to go a bit farther into their thankfulness by talking about some of the homeless people that are in our downtown, Denver, CO. That got them a little misty eyed and they broadened their horizons about what they are thankful for.
My oldest came up with lots of leaves, while my youngest was a little more sparse. Don’t worry about that, just getting them thinking is what is important.
Finally, I let them have at it with the glue. I glued the tree trunk and added little details for my youngest so the others would have some ideas for their own trees. Make sure to put your child’s name and the year somewhere on their masterpiece.
Thankful Foot-Print Turkey- Anything with a footprint is a favorite of mine. It’s such a great way to capture their size forever. These are the things I will look back at and weep over when my babies are older, with big stinky man feet!
I started off with half a piece of black construction paper for each kiddo’s foot. I used light brown acrylic paint for their feet, but whatever type you have should do fine, just be prepared for a lot of wiggling and giggling when you put the paint on!
Have them step carefully on the paper so as not to slip and push gently on each toe. Then carry them to the bathroom. I made the mistake of letting my two oldest try to hop their way to clean up…needless to say I have some paint to clean up on my floor and wall!
While your footprints are drying, cut out some feathers from red, yellow, blue, and orange and have the kids start writing what they are thankful for on them. Help them orient their feathers so that their writing will all be in the same direction on the feathers. The heal of their foot will be the turkey’s head and the big toe side of the foot will be the turkey butt where the feathers will go. So make sure that if their turkey butt is on the right they write on their feather starting at the quick and if their turkey butt is on the left they begin writing from the tip of the feather.
Once everyone’s feet have dried you can let them have at it with some glue and various sized googly eyes. Also give them a yellow piece of paper, folded in half, and show them how to cut out the beak by drawing a small triangle on the fold. When they cut it out they will have a beak that can open and close. You will also need a red piece of paper (I just used some spare tissue paper) for the gobbly part by the beak. For the feet I used pipe cleaners. Finally have the kids glue on their feathers.
Don’t worry about it being perfect, they will be proud of their creation and their thankful brainstorming and you should be too.