Thanksgiving is all about sharing, kindness and being thankful. These also are important values for preschools to teach to their students. The week prior to the holiday is a wonderful time to talk about these important concepts while having a little fun. These eight craft projects are easy, enjoyable and can be a great companion to Thanksgiving lessons.
Bean corn cobs: Preschoolers adore sensory play and this bean project is sure to delight. Cut corn cob shapes out of yellow and green construction paper. Then let children glue different-colored dried beans onto the cob to create kernels. This craft looks like the colorful corn varieties many people use for Thanksgiving decor.
Paper-bag turkeys: Brown lunch bags are great for creating simple turkey puppets. Place on desks with the folded portion facing up. What would be the bottom of the bag is what will become the face of the turkey when kids glue on eyes and create a beak. Finish with feathers and let dry. Dramatic play comes naturally when the kids put their hand in the bag to make their turkeys come to life.
Thankful pie: Use paper plates and let kids paint in the center orange and the rim brown to look like a pumpkin pie. Once dry, sit down with each child and ask what they are thankful for and write down the answers. Some may be serious (my house, grandma) and other may be silly (the jelly in my sandwich), but all will be heart-warming.
Thanksgiving jewelry: Purchase a variety of pasta shapes in autumn colors such as orange, sage, red and yellow. Then let children create special Thanksgiving necklaces and bracelets by stringing pasta onto yarn. Beyond fun, Thanksgiving jewelry makes a great gift for parents or relatives visiting for the holiday.
Cornucopia snacks: For a hands-on snack project, first explain to kids what a cornucopia is and then hand out sugar ice cream cones. Then ask kids to fill the cones with a variety of fun snacks such as fish crackers, pretzels and raisins. When tipped on its side on a plate, this tasty project looks just like a mini cornucopia.
Leaf turkeys: Go on a nature walk and let students collect leaves. When back in the classroom, those leaves can transform into colorful turkeys. Use brown construction paper to cut out ovals and then draw on a turkey's face. Adhere onto a another full piece of paper and let kids glue on the leaves around the turkey to create colorful feathers.
Foil trees: Set out brown paint so kids can create tree trunks on paper. For the leaves, instead of brushes use balled-up tinfoil to create a cool texture. Set out paper plates with paint in orange, yellow and red. Kids can take the tinfoil ball and gently dip into the paint and stamp out to create beautiful leaves on the treetops.
Turkey-hand craft: Help students draw an outline of their hands onto a piece of paper. Then let them color in the outline to create a silly turkey. You may want to make an example they can look at — the thumb becomes the turkey head, the other fingers are the feathers and the palm is the body. Just add little legs and a gobbler and you're all set!
Thanksgiving is all about sharing, kindness and being thankful. Engage your preschoolers with these eight Thanksgiving craft projects.