To make a hand and foot turkey, trace your child's foot, with socks, onto brown construction paper and cut it out for the turkey body. Trace her hands onto brown, orange, red and yellow construction paper and cut them out. Your tot can glue the hands to the back of the body and draw on eyes and a beak. To make a paper plate turkey, cut the plate in half and cover it with colorful faux feathers. Glue a brown paper turkey body to the center of the plate.
To make a Thanksgiving wreath with your toddler, cut the middle out of a large paper plate. Crumble up red, brown, yellow and orange tissue paper and have your toddle glue them onto the rim of the plate. For another kid-friendly wreath, take your child on a walk to collect the brightest, most colorful fall leaves. Cut a piece of cardboard into a wreath shape. Help your toddler paste the leaves on the cardboard wreath.
Work on crafts with your toddler that represent the fall harvest. You can make a corn picture with your tot, drawing the outline of a corn cob and having your child fill it in with torn pieces of yellow construction paper. Another idea is to give your toddler miniature pumpkins and let her paint them however she would like. You can encourage your child to use fall colors to keep with the Thanksgiving theme, however.
Make the famous pilgrim hats with your toddler. Cut a strip of black paper to fit your child's head and staple it into a band. Help your tot cut out a tall black hat shape from black construction paper using child-safe scissors. Cut out a gold square for the buckle. Staple the hat to the band and put it on your child's head. You can also make hand print ships to represent the ships the pilgrims arrived on. Help your tot draw an ocean and sky scene on paper. Dip her hand in brown paint and press just above the water on the picture. Have her paste small white squares to the finger tips on the hand print to resemble sails.
In October and November, you can often find activity books with a Thanksgiving theme. Some activity books you can look for include “Thanksgiving Fun Activity Book” by Judith Bauer Stamper, “Thanksgiving Activities” by Renee Henegar, “Thanksgiving Reading and Activity Book” by Janet Dellosa and Patti Carson or “Thanksgiving Language Activities” by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers Staff. You can find pilgrims, fun Thanksgiving foods, crosswords, word searches, color pages and math sheets your child will enjoy.
Original Activity Sheets
You can make your own Thanksgiving activity sheets. Draw or trace a cornucopia and have your child glue fall produce, such as corn, melons, onions and tomatoes on the page. You can draw heads and hands on a sheet of paper and have your child draw or glue on pilgrim or Native American costumes for those sitting down to eat the first Thanksgiving feast. On a more modern note, your child can glue pictures of favorite holiday foods, such as turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and desserts on a Thanksgiving table decorated with fall leaves and produce.
Word Activities Pages
You can use graph paper to create crossword and word search puzzles for your kids. Start with a list of Thanksgiving words such as prayer, thanks, pilgrims, turkey, corn, pumpkin, cornucopia, feast, Native Americans, share, stuffing and Mayflower. You can also write out sentences about the first Thanksgiving and write them in alphabetic or numeric code for your child to decode. Other easy activities you can create are groups of Thanksgiving foods, people or other familiar items your child can count, Thanksgiving word scrambles or dot-to-dot pictures you can create from coloring pages.
Free Internet Printables
The Internet contains many sites where you can print off activity sheets for free. Check out thanksgiving-coloring.com for coloring pages. EdHelper.com has numerous links to free activity pages you can print out, including word searches, mazes, coloring pages, sudokus, dot-to-dots and crosswords. Education.com also has free activity pages you can access, featuring activities for young children and elementary kids you can easily print off in sufficient quantities for all the kids who show up for Thanksgiving at your house.