Too often Thanksgiving is squashed in between the more decadent holidays of Halloween and Christmas. The primary purpose of Thanksgiving for many is a day for overeating, preparing Christmas shopping lists, and watching football. As a result of adult preoccupation, children miss the meaning, warmth, and security that the Thanksgiving holiday has to offer.
It is important to explain to our children why we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is also important to take time to consider all that we have to be thankful for. One way to slow down and convey to your children the importance of Thanksgiving is to do a few craft projects with them. Take time to enjoy each other and relax. Enjoyment and relaxation contribute greatly to a feeling of well-being that yields a thankful heart. One fun simple project, which won't overwhelm either of you and which yields a delightful piece of holiday décor, is the handprint turkey.
Collect Your Supplies
- Red, yellow, orange, and brown paint
Make Your Handprint
- Paint the palm of your child's hand brown.
- Paint the tip of the finger yellow.
- Paint the midsection of the finger orange.
- Paint the base of the finger red.
- Have the child press their hand firmly down on the paper.
Making the Print into a Turkey
- Have your child use markers to draw an eye, beak, wattle, and feet for the turkey.
- Draw a scene for the turkey to inhabit.
Ideas and Suggestions
- One quick way to clean up paint is to use baby wipes.
- Make sure the paint is dry before enhancing the handprint with markers.
- Have your kids make Thanksgiving cards with handprint turkeys to send to grandparents and friends.
- Make place markers for the table using handprint turkeys.
- Scan your child's turkey into your computer. Print the turkey onto photo transfer paper and iron it onto a t-shirt for your child to wear on Thanksgiving Day.
- Have your child copy a poem about a turkey onto the page and frame it as a piece of seasonal art to be used year after year. One fun short poem that could be used is: A turkey is a funny bird, / His head goes wobble, wobble / And all he knows is just one word / And that is GOBBLE-GOBBLE!
- Make a handprint turkey every year and have the children write what they are thankful for on the page below the turkey. Save the handprints and make a book out of them. It will be fun to see how the children's hands grow and how they express thanksgiving differently as they grow.