These colorful crafts bring a fun twist to classic desserts, aim to help you upcycle household items into adorable keepsakes, and repurpose pumpkins, acorns, gourds, and apples to create festive decorations. Your kids will love learning about the important Thanksgiving pillars of community, gratitude, and generosity while letting their creative imaginations run wild! So, get out your craft supplies, pick out a DIY idea or two from below, and help your kids live out the reason for the season!
1. Make a Thankful Turkey
This 3D turkey is an adorable and meaningful craft that’ll not only lead to a cute decoration, but also improve your kiddos’ writing abilities! To create it, have your students cut out the turkey shape and then write things that they’re thankful for on its tail feathers. Once it’s completed, this Thanksgiving buddy can be positioned on your students’ desks or on a classroom table display.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
2. Turkey Mini Pumpkins
These adorable mini pumpkins are both easy and fun for your kids to decorate. They’ll start by painting a turkey face on one side of a real or synthetic mini pumpkin. Then, help them add a tail by gluing on cut-out paper feathers. These sweet birdies will bring a festive touch to your classroom decorations or make beautiful centerpieces for a school event.
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3. Pine Cone Turkeys
These classic pinecone turkeys combine nature, texture, and color to create a cute keepsake that every kid will love. Start by taking your little ones on a nature walk to gather pine cones. Back in the classroom, they can transform their findings into festive turkeys by attaching foam “feathers”, chenille pipe cleaners, and googly eyes.
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4. Popsicle Corn Crafts
There’s no better way to celebrate the fall harvest than with this clever corn craft that combines an autumn harvest theme with the keepsake of your kids’ handprints. Help your kids assemble “corn cobs” out of paper and painted popsicle sticks. Then, help them trace and cut out their hands to create the corn silk. This is a great craft to enhance your students’ motor skills while also getting them into the festive spirit.
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5. Edible Turkey Treats
Featuring festive pilgrim hats, these yummy turkeys are made entirely from candy- making them a delicious treat for the home or classroom. Your little ones will love making their own mini turkeys with cookies, candy, and icing and we bet they’ll be gobbling them up in no time!
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6. Corn Husk Turkeys
Who knew that corn husks could make such realistic-looking feathers? Using construction paper, some paint, and their imagination, your students are sure to love transforming dried corn husks into these colorful and seasonal delights.
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7. Apple Stamp Garland
What better way to celebrate the rich harvest of fall than to use apples to make decorations? This clever craft invites your kiddos to use cut apples as stamps to create a cheery garland. To make it, have your little artists stamp out and decorate several apple shapes in different colors. Then, you can cut them out and attach them to a piece of string for a stunning decoration. Your kids will love dipping the apple halves into paint and are sure to get a laugh out of decorating them with silly googly eyes as well.
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8. Corn Husk Dolls
With just a bit of help, your pupils will be able to make their very own keepsake dolls. You’ll start by soaking the husks in water to soften them. Then, working gently, guide your kids in shaping and tying the husks to form simple figures. This is also a wonderful opportunity to incorporate a cross-curricular lesson in the history, culture, and customs of Native Americans who began making such dolls over a thousand years ago.
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9. Yarn-Wrapped Turkey Tins
This festive craft is brought to life using recycled materials. Your students will simply wrap empty tin cans with yarn and decorate them like turkeys to create simple yet charming pencil holders, gift containers, vases—or anything else that strikes their fancy!
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10. Pipe Cleaner Turkey Treat Holders
With a few twists and turns, your students can transform pipe cleaners and a few decorations into adorable turkey treat holders. Let your kids select the colors of pipe cleaner to add their own spin to the craft, and then guide them in shaping these small baskets. To finish it off, throw in some popcorn or candy for a Thanksgiving treat!
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11. Pumpkin Seed Collages
This textured craft uses painted seeds to create a beautiful pumpkin collage. You and your students will begin by dyeing clean pumpkin seeds with orange food coloring. Once they’ve dried, let your kids create one-of-a-kind seed collages. This craft also makes for a neat opportunity to explore seeds and discuss the bountiful fall harvest.
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12. Edible Ice Cream Cone Teepee
Who doesn’t love a bite of dessert, especially when it looks this good? These ice cream cone teepees are all sugar and charm, with a salty pretzel twist. Help your kiddos decorate sugar cones with candy melts and other treats to craft these charming teepees. While you work, talk about the origins of our Thanksgiving celebrations and the importance of honoring those who came before us.
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13. Turkey Place Card Holders
What better way to make your guests feel special than by customizing a cardholder for each of them? These cute little turkeys, made from walnuts, acorns, and some simple craft materials, will make a wonderful addition to your students’ Thanksgiving feast.
Learn More: Mom It Forward
14. Colorful Leaf Luminaries
These enchanting decoupage mason jars will light up your students’ Thanksgiving tables with their warm, inviting glow. Your kids will bring them to life by gluing tissue paper shapes to glass jars to create a beautiful, stained glass effect. To top things off, why not invite your kiddos to accessorize with a bit of ribbon, some branchy pieces, or throw in some cinnamon pumpkin candles?
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15. Gourd and Coffee Filter Turkey
This creative activity incorporates real or artificial gourds to create a festive addition to a classroom display or a table centerpiece that your kids can take home. All your learners will need to do is attach cut-out turkey heads and colored coffee filter “tails” to their gourds to create these festive friends. Provide a number of different shaped and colored gourds so that your students can get creative and choose their favorites.
Learn More: Mom It Forward
16. Festive Turkey Wreaths
This beautiful holiday craft uses just paper and googly eyes to get your students involved in creating Thanksgiving decor for their classrooms. The accompanying free template makes it easy for even your youngest learners to assemble a Thanksgiving wreath to take home.
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17. Wooden Spoon Turkeys
This clever craft is both cheap and easy to make; requiring only a wooden spoon, some paint, and a little creative flair. Your kids will love gluing together these quirky turkeys that can either be used as puppets or home decor.
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18. Pop Up Holiday Greeting Card
Incorporating art and writing, this impressive 3D craft makes for a great opportunity to discuss the spirit of giving and the importance of generosity during the holiday season. With just folded and glued paper, your students can create cheery greeting cards for their loved ones. Your younger students may need help with the fan folding, but they’ll be awed as they watch these critters come to life.
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19. Thanksgiving Mosaic Making
Piece together creativity with Thanksgiving mosaics! Guide your students in forming stunning turkeys with nothing more than colored mosaic tiles. Explore both beauty and fine motor skills in this artistic craft as your littles piece together a seasonal image that they like.
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20. Thanksgiving Story Stones
Here’s another great idea for various age groups! Lead your students in painting rocks with symbols of the season; transforming them into props that can be used to tell countless stories.
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21. Turkey Glove Crafting
Give your kiddos’ imaginations wings with turkey glove puppets! By gluing craft feathers or felt cutouts onto plain gloves, they can transform a simple glove into a lively character. These make excellent puppets that even your youngest performers will have no trouble manipulating.
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22. Thanksgiving Tree
Invite your kids to grow gratitude together! Lead your students in writing messages of thanks before attaching them to a sturdy paper tree. Your kids—and their families—will love this darling craft that conveys a deeper message.
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23. Paper Strip Turkey
Help your students craft turkeys from paper strips for a no-fuss, mess-free Thanksgiving craft that will get your little ones to practice their scissor skills. They’ll start by cutting simple tail feathers, then attach them to a roly-poly body before finishing things off by adding feet and facial features. Get ready for a whirlwind of creativity!
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24. Turkey Windsocks
Artistic minds, assemble! Lead your students in creating lively turkey windsocks that will dance in the autumn wind. All that’s required is toilet paper rolls, streamers, feathers, and some simple craft decorations. This craft is a blend of spatial thinking and imagination; perfect for young artists to let their creativity take flight!
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25. Cranberry Painting Experience
Unconventional painting, here we come! With a simple, cranberry-scented paint made from glue, cranberries, corn starch, and laundry starch, your students will be able to explore textures and festive scents while creating seasonal masterpieces. Start by spreading an even layer of the paint on a flat sheet of tinfoil. Then, hand your kiddos Q-Tips, spatulas, and paint rollers—or let them use their fingers—to create their own designs. Each painting will be a sensory exploration full of innovation.
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26. Thanksgiving Placemats
Let your kiddos set the table with personalized flair! Assist your students in crafting these paper Thanksgiving placemats, where the plate features items for which they’re grateful. With their writing, stickers, and drawings, each creation will quickly become a heartwarming keepsake—not to mention a clever instructional manual for setting the table!
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27. Handprint Turkey Hats
Hands down, this craft is a hoot! Instruct your students to trace and cut out their hands and then turn them into playful turkey hats. Your little ones will love the exploration of shapes and colors that this DIY allows—and of course they’ll love showing off their haberdashery creations thereafter!
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28. Crafting Pilgrim Collar and Bonnet/Hat
Your kids will love stepping into the pilgrims’ shoes! Guide your students in crafting paper collars and bonnets to open a window into history. This blend of learning and creativity will offer an engaging way to get your kiddos thinking about times of old and discovering more about those who have paved the way before them.
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29. Thanksgiving Dream Catchers
! Embrace Native American traditions by crafting dream catchers with your students that depict things that they’re grateful for. It’s a beautiful cultural craft that will engage their minds and hands—and their hearts alike!
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30. Thanksgiving Banner
Join hands with your students to create a festive Thanksgiving banner; a symbol of unity and joy. Using twine and colorful felt, your class can work together to craft a festive banner to decorate your classroom.
Learn More: YouTube
31. Pumpkin Spice Play Dough
Here’s a DIY for your learners who enjoy a tactile pursuit! Delight in guiding your students through the unique scents and textures of pumpkin spice playdough. Give them some seasonal, homemade play dough along with a few small kitchen tools, and you’ll have an open-ended activity that will provide hours of fun for your tiny bakers.
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32. Acorn Frames
Nature’s grace shines through this craft! Lead your students in creating charming acorn frames to connect to the season’s beauty. Your kids will enjoy gathering acorn caps before gluing their natural treasures in a design of their choosing to create a perfect Thanksgiving picture frame.
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33. Crafting a Paper Plate Pumpkin Pie
Who doesn’t crave pumpkin pie? This ingenious craft will have your students cutting and writing while they brainstorm things that they’re thankful for. Your little ones will create pretend pumpkin pies from paper plates—with each piece listing an element of gratitude! Your class will then explore shapes and textures while counting their blessings. Just remember, no eating this pie!
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34. Turkey-Themed Bookmark Crafting
Reading season is here so be sure to mark it with turkeys! Teach your students to craft bookmarks that add a festive touch to literary adventures. They’re cute, practical, and an excellent way to use up scrap paper. Once complete, your kiddos can dive into their books with style!
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35. Thanksgiving Countdown Calendar
Help your little turkeys mark the days to Thanksgiving! Lead your students in creating a unique calendar to count down the days to the holiday. Using colored paper, you’ll cut out a simple turkey shape with one tail feather for each day until Thanksgiving. Remove one feather every day to help your kid visualize the passage of time. It will undoubtedly build anticipation while nurturing patience and appreciation for the season.
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36. Cornucopia Centerpieces
Lead your students in bringing this iconic symbol to life using just colored paper. Your little ones will love watching their 3D creations come to life as they fold and cut—resulting in a lovely centerpiece or gift for a loved one!
Learn More: YouTube
37. Turkey Ring Toss Game Crafting
These crafts will give your kids a great way to work off some of that excess holiday energy. Help your students craft turkey-themed ring toss games to spark lively fun. You’ll use recycled coffee creamer bottles (or other plastic bottles) and simple craft supplies that’ll result in a toy to spark friendly competition and exercise your kiddos’ motor skills. Let the Thanksgiving games begin!
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38. Thanksgiving Bracelets
Looking for a memorable way to teach your students about the first Thanksgiving? As you teach them the history of the holiday, lead them in beading simple bracelets to help them better grasp the tale. Using plain colored beads to represent key moments in history, your students will be left with colorful reminders of why we celebrate this holiday.
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39. Thanksgiving Memory Game Crafting
Challenge your pupils’ minds with a Thanksgiving twist! This memory game invites them to engage in matching symbols of the holiday. It’s educational, entertaining, and brain-teasing fun.
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40. Thanksgiving Lanterns
Illuminate the seasonal joy with crafted lanterns! These gourd-like lanterns are simple to make with just paper and string. Encourage your students to craft these symbols of Thanksgiving, and then insert battery-operated candles to cast a soft, cozy glow that’s ideal for a fall-themed story corner.
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