What a Turkey
Ask each child to write what she's thankful for on a paper feather, then stick it into this cute turkey centerpiece.
How to make it: Cut a 1-inch sliver off the bottom of a 9-inch polystyrene ball. Wrap sphere neatly in thick dark-brown yarn, covering surface completely; knot on bottom. Make a 4-inch ball from light-brown yarn and attach to body with a wooden craft stick. Create simple facial features using felt: white circles (approximately the size of a quarter, with 1/8-inch pom-poms for pupils) for eyes, yellow triangles for the beak, and long red felt teardrops as the wattle. Cut feather shapes from colored craft paper and bend in half lengthwise to create seam. Glue wooden craft stick to the bottom third of the feather and insert in a fan shape on turkey body.
Make a tablecloth from butcher paper and colorful craft paper. Bonus: Kids can color right on it.
How to make it: Trace dinner plate onto patterned paper; cut one for each guest. Attach to a brown butcher-paper tablecloth with double-stick tape. Cut a 2-1/2-inchsquare out of complementary paper and snip the edge of two corners to make utensil pocket. Attach double-stick tape to left, right, and bottom sides of pocket and bow pocket slightly before attaching to butcher-paper.
Thanksgiving Kid Craft: Mayflower Centerpiece
Kids can personalize the sails with the message of their choosing.
Instead of using paper place cards, coat stones in brightly colored tempera paint and glue on pasta letters.
Personalized photo cup cozies will help little kids keep tabs on their drinks -- even if they can't read yet.
How to make it: Cut a 2-inch circle out of decorative paper and cut a close-up photo of child's face into a 1-3/4-inch circle. Center photograph on paper circle and attach with double-stick foam tape. Adhere to cardboard cup jacket with double-sided foam tape.
Make a Pilgrim-Hat Dip Station
Watch this video to learn how to turn a paper cup into a pilgrim-hat snack cup.
Courtesy of Bloesem Kids
Help your kids decorate the holiday table with a homemade harvest-inspired craft.
What you'll need: burlap, scissors, freezer paper, iron, red and brown textile paint, paintbrushes, printed fabric, fabric glue
Make it: Cut your burlap to 13" x 17", or whatever placemat size you want to use. Then, sketch your apple shape onto the paper side of freezer paper and cut it out to form a stencil. Iron the freezer paper into place on the burlap, and then paint inside the stencil with red textile paint. Once it's dry, carefully peel your stencil away. Add a painted stem a funky leaf cut from printed fabric to finish. Pull a few threads from the edge of the placemat to make the fringe, and repeat until you have enough placemats for your whole family.
Courtesy of Kind Over Matter
Thanksgiving Fortune Cookies
Remind your family to be thankful with these good fortune-filled cookies.
What you'll need: Fortune Cookie template (download from Kind Over Matter), color printer, cardstock, scissors, Glue Dots
Make it: Download the Fortune Cookie template, print, and cut out. Then, fold each circle in half without making a crease along the edge. Holding the circle in half with one hand, use the other to fold the two ends of your half-circle towards each other. Apply a Glue Dot to keep the two ends together. Then, type out and print a few things that you're thankful for and cut them into small strips you can insert into your cookies. Add to your table settings, and have your family "open" their cookies at the end of the meal.
Courtesy of Say Yes to Hoboken
Bring some action to your Thanksgiving dinner party with this super fun pinata.
Make it: Make the round pinata by covering a large balloon with newspaper strips dipped in equal parts water and flour -- don't cover the balloon's tie. Once you?ve got 3-4 layers and the newspaper is dry, pop the balloon by cutting the tie and remove it. Cover that hole with some more dipped newspaper strips and let dry. Then, cut two slits at the top and thread a piece of rope through so your pinata is easy to hang. Cut a "trap door," or three sides of a square, in the back, lift up the flap, and fill with candy, treats, or toys for your kids. Then, tape the trap door closed. To decorate, fold some colorful cupcake liners in half and glue them to pinata until it's covered. Hang and get cracking!
Courtesy of More Minutes
Don't get trapped in a continuous "Is that my drink?" loop. Make sure all your guests can find their cups by gluing on a few colorful turkey feathers. Write each person's name on the feathers, and then add some googley eyes and a triangle beak to finish.
What you'll need: Empty cardboard tubes, scissors, colored craft foam, scalloped-edge scissors, foam mounting tape, googly eyes, Hold the Foam! glue
How to make it: Cut cardboard tubes into 1-inch-wide rings. Cut 5-x-1-1/8-inch pieces of foam; glue one around each ring. To make the turkey's body, cut out one 2-inch circle from craft foam. For the layered "feathers," cut out one 3-inch and one 4-inch circle from foam, then cut both in half. Trim the rounded edges with scalloped scissors. Glue the 4-inch half-circle to the center of the napkin ring; let dry. For dimension, use mounting tape to layer the 3-inch half-circle on top, then the 2-inch circle on top of that. Cut out a turkey head, beak, and wattle from foam. Glue the wattle, beak, and googly eyes to the head; let dry. Then glue the head to the center of the top circle.
What you'll need: One 15-x-9-inch piece of foam core, pencil, Mod Podge, foam brush, 6 ounces quinoa or similar grain, 1/4 cup each assorted dried beans, large tray
How to make it: Use a pencil to write "Gobble Gobble" (or another holiday message) onto foam core. Apply a layer of Mod Podge onto foam core. Working over a large tray, sprinkle quinoa over surface; let dry. (Try not to cover the letters too heavily.) Then, glue on beans to spell out your message; let dry. Glue more beans around the edges of foam to create a border; let dry. If you'd like to hang the sign, glue a large loop of ribbon or raffia onto the back.
Your Place or Mine?
What you'll need: Smooth rocks, craft paint, paintbrushes
How to make it: Make sure rocks are clean and dry. Paint designs onto rocks; let dry, then paint on the names of each of your guests. Use rocks as place cards.
What you'll need: Solid-color adult- and child-size socks, scissors, pinking shears, dried beans, twist ties, stiffened or regular felt in assorted colors, one large and two tiny pom-poms for each turkey, fabric glue
How to make it: Cut off the top of each sock. Leave about 6 inches to the toe for each adult sock and 5 inches to the toe for each child's sock. Fill a sock with beans until it is two-thirds full. Gather the sock's opening, and close with a twist tie. Pull sock edges down and over exposed twist tie; glue to secure. Use pinking shears to cut out 6 turkey "feathers" from felt and glue over this area; this will be the back of the turkey. Cut out a felt wattle and beak; glue them to the front of a large pom-pom. Glue on two tiny pom-poms for eyes. When dry, glue head to the front of the turkey.
Tepees & Houses
What you'll need: Dessert-size paper plates, scissors, brown chenille stems, tape, small brush, sea sponge, craft paint, craft glue
How to make them: Cut paper plate in half. Roll ends to create a cone shape; tape to secure. Using a sea sponge, paint on a background with light-colored paint; let dry. Then, use a paintbrush to paint on designs; let dry. Cut chenille stems into three 3-1/2-inch pieces and glue to the inside of the top of the tepee.
What you'll need: Empty pint-size milk or creamer cartons, craft glue, spray-on paint primer, craft paint, pencil, brushes
How to make them: Glue container closed. Spray on paint primer; let dry. Paint top third of the container a darker color to resemble a roof. Paint the rest of the house a contrasting color; let dry. Use a pencil to sketch out windows and a door, then paint them on.
Indian Corn Magnet Craft
Dress up your fridge with this festive magnet. --Grace Dioguardo
Welcome guests with this colorful banner. --Lauren Guerriero
Gorgeous Gourd Crafts
Find 8 creative ways to decorate with gourds.
Print your own festive placecards.
Originally published in the November 2008, November 2006, November 2004, November 2003 issues of Parents magazine and the November 2006 issue of Family Circle magazine.