By Jennifer Kelly Geddes
From Ideas That Spark

You’re baking pies, setting the table and trying to decide if Aunt Martha can sit near your cousin from Detroit, so of course entertaining the kids will be pushed down the to-do list on Thanksgiving.

Sure, some tots will play a board game quietly in the corner, but if you’ve got a crew with a bit more energy, read on for Thanksgiving craft ideas to keep them occupied this holiday season.

Hand turkeys

These crayon tracings are classic for a reason: nearly every age can draw one and they really do look like turkeys when you’re finished.

Lay out white paper, pencils and a variety of crayons. Demonstrate how to trace your hand and point out that the thumb is the bird’s ‘head’ and fingers are ‘feathers’.

Place cards

The hard part’s been done -- you’ve found the right seat for Martha! Now put the kids to work making the name cards for your guests.

Hand them blank cards, pens and a list of names. Add in some turkey-day stickers and glittery markers so they can decorate each one.

Grateful chain

Simple strips of construction paper and a stapler are all you need for this easy craft. Have the kids ask each guest what he or she is thankful for, write it on a piece of paper and then staple it into a circle. Thread the next guest’s strip through the first one and then continue around the room, creating a chain to hang up when complete.


Sheets of paper placed strategically at each child’s seat will encourage doodling of all kinds while the gravy is stirred and the platters are arranged.

Bundle a few crayons or markers at each spot and suggest they draw a picture of their favorite animal. And if all else fails -- a mini chocolate turkey at each place will go a long way toward calming antsy eaters!

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