Friday, November 16, 2012

Michelle's Musings: Thanksgiving Crafts for Children

Hi all, and Happy Thanksgiving!

There is nothing more precious than children's artwork to decorate a house, and what better way to remind ourselves to be thankful this Thanksgiving season than Thanksgiving children's crafts?! I am pretty excited about these....

So...I work full-time in a homeless shelter and part-time in a church preschool ministry, meaning, I get to interact with lots of kids! And it's cool because I just get to play with them and what-not, then send them back to their parents...kind of like a grandma!

Anyway, so as I was at work at the homeless shelter one day, I decided to make some Thanksgiving decorations with a preschooler to decorate the house. Here is what we came up with...

Leaf Garland

Leaf coloring page print-outs
hole punch
crayons/markers/colored pencils
twine (or rope or whatever you choose to use)

I printed off several copies of several different leaf coloring pages. (I Googled "leaf coloring pages," found three or four that I liked, and printed several copies of them) Then it was color time! I love to, I sat down with this kid and the kid's mom, and we colored our leaves! Kid was not as enthused as I was, but that's ok.

After Kid scribbled and Kid's mom and I colored like big girls, I cut the leaves out and punched a hole in each. I then took some twine and measured how long I wanted the garland to be, leaving room for slouch (giving it "slack") and knots. I then made knots in it like this to separate each leaf and hold it in place:
[insert picture]

I kind of went bazerk on my knots and made them too close at first...just judge by how many leaves you have and how long you want your garland to be.

Then, I strung the leaves onto the string, and voila! Your kids might help you with the stringing part, but there was no way this little preschooler was about to do better things to do!

I then double tied each end around the rails of the staircase (right above some kids' Noah's Ark drawings..can you tell I like kid artwork??) and had some fun Fall garland! My favorite leaves are the ones that are mostly white with a little scribble! (Most of the scribble made it onto the parts of the paper that got cut off..precious children!)

Thankful Turkey

construction paper (I used white, orange, yellow, and red)
markers (Sharpie or a black skinny Crayola, and a yellow and red skinny Crayola)
brown crayon (for Kid to color)
stick glue

I like to call this little dude my Thankful Turkey. He was so simple to make! I used white construction paper (so that Kid could color it brown, making it more see how much brown made it onto the paper...) and drew an almost circle and a full circle. I made two dots then drew a circle around each for eyes. That was easy!

After drawing a yellow nose and red google, I wrote Psalm 118:1 on his belly, which made what I wrote on the leaves make more sense. If you don't like that, you can put something like "We are thankful for..." or "Thanksgiving" or something cutesy that makes you smile. Or frown, if you so choose, but this is Thanksgiving!

I then cut simple feather-like shapes from red, yellow, and orange construction paper. With the size that I made them, I just used one full sheet of each color and had the number of feathers you see in the picture.

Then it was Kid interaction time again! I asked Kid and Kid's mom what we were thankful for, and you can see what we came up with (paper to color on...brilliant!)

I then placed each feather where I wanted it to be and stick-glued each one down. I added extra glue to the parts where the feathers overlap one another, so that it would not be as floppy (who wants a floppy turkey??!).

Turkey Man
toilet paper roll (I actually used a paper towel roll and cut it..improvising!!)
craft sticks (I used ones already red, orange, and yellow..but you could use markers to color plain ones!)
hot glue gun/hot glue
markers (black, yellow, red)
black construction paper
Scotch tape

It's Turkey Man time! He literally makes me laugh. And would you know...I did him all by myself, no kid help (because Kid was busy with more important things!) We did not have a lot of resources on hand (it is a homeless shelter, after all, and art is not always our top priority), so I improvised, but I wanted it to be simple, something a child could do, and look like a kid did it (so that people would not make fun of me because it does look like a child did it!). I started by cutting my paper towel roll into toilet paper size. Then I drew eyes and glasses (I was going for hipster..kind of turned out nerdy, but that's ok too! We accept all kinds of turkeys) and a nose and google.

Then it was hat time! This is where you are really going to laugh at me...
I cut a strip of black construction paper like this:

I pulled it around into a circle and sized it up to Turkey Man's head so his hat would fit. I then made another small strip, as you see here:

Then (here's the genius part!) I taped the smaller strip onto the rounded strip to make his hat stay on his head, like this:

Next the hat needed a bill. Or whatever it is called on a top hat. So..I drew a circle around the paper towel roll and a bigger circle around that one, onto the black construction paper. I was not being OCD at this particular moment, and my pen kept messing up, so my circle is pretty janky, but whatever.
[insert picture "turkey man 5"]

The cutting of this circle is important. I cut the inside of the inner circle, but I left a tab on each side so I could secure it onto the hat:
[insert picture "turkey man 6"]

I then used the tabs to tape the bill to the bottom of the hat. Done with Turkey Man's hat!

Now, Turkey Man needs feathers. I took the craft sticks, alternating colors, and held them a few at a time where I wanted them placed on his body, then secured them. To be honest, because we had no hot glue (homeless shelter!), I improvised with tape. Tape looks silly, just to let you know.

Then he is finished! Turkey Man! I feel like he should be in Avengers 2....or maybe just his name? Maybe not. Whatever.

So there you have it! Some fun, interactive, simple Thanksgiving kid-friendly (and budget-friendly, because craftiness can be expensive!) crafts to decorate the house!

Happy crafting, and Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! Eat lots of turkey! But not Turkey Man.....


1 comment:

Please leave a comment! I love reading your comments! It seriously makes my day. -Nikki

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