Do your kids complain about being bored while you are busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner? You’re not alone! This year, instead of having the kids watch Thanksgiving specials on TV, put their creative minds to use and have them make the decorations.

If there’s one thing kids love, it’s using their creativity to contribute to the holidays. There are plenty of absorbing, easy craft ideas for kids that will not only keep them away from the hot oven, but really make them feel like part of the clan. Check out these awesome Thanksgiving crafts for kids, and let your little ones do the decorating this year.

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Making the Thanksgiving centerpiece is not the easiest craft idea, but it is perhaps the most coveted of all tasks. This is the sort of craft that takes dedication and planning, which is perfect for older children. Your kids can either work together on this project or create several centerpieces that will have a prominent position on the dining table.

If the notion of a Thanksgiving centerpiece is new to your child, explain its significance. In most households, the centerpiece reflects the spirit of the holiday in an artistic way. Give examples to make the project more clear–a cornucopia filled with fruits and vegetables, a pilgrim side-by-side with a native American, a plate full of squash and gourds with a giant turkey on top.

Younger children can use Play-Doh, paper and crayons, while older children can be a bit more creative. If you like, you can design the foundation of the centerpiece so your younger kids aren’t confused about what to make.

Thanksgiving Storybooks

Thanksgiving storybooks are high on the list of easy craft ideas–all this project takes is paper, crayons and a bit of research. Challenge your kids to write their own versions of the story of the first Thanksgiving, complete with illustrations.

Of course, they may prefer to come up with a new story if this doesn’t pique their interest. Either way, the kids can use several sheets of folded paper to write their stories and create their drawings. When the stories are finished, staple the pages together at the center fold.

Let them read their stories out loud to the dinner guests, or the more ambitious children may enjoy acting out their stories with sock puppets.

Holiday Banner

What party is complete without a holiday banner? There are many ways to approach this Thanksgiving craft, but all of them are equally fun. Depending on the age of the children and your available craft supplies, the kids can either design a banner freehand on several sheets of paper, draw one up and print it on the computer, or use a combination of computer graphics, freehand drawing and coloring, construction paper cut-outs, glue and sparkles.

“Happy Thanksgiving” contains a lot of letters, so make sure you have enough paper for a large banner. When the finished product is dry and ready, hang it up on existing curtain or picture hooks to avoid making new holes in the walls or stripping paint off with tape.

“What I’m Thankful For” Box

Many families take the time on Thanksgiving to think about what they are truly thankful for. Why not let the kids make a special box to collect all the proclamations of gratitude? The “What I’m Thankful For” box can be as complicated or as simple as you like.

An empty Kleenex box covered with construction paper is aPaper, cardboard and scissors are needed for this children’s holiday craft. You’ll also need some comment cards for guests to fill out and stuff into the box — consider letting an older child take the lead on the box while a younger one handles the comment cards.

More Than Just Thanksgiving Crafts

Thanksgiving is a day of celebration. For families, it is about togetherness and being part of a clan. That feeling of being needed, of participating, is perhaps more important for children than it is for the adults in the family. When you take the time to help your children create something as part of the Thanksgiving Day dinner and celebration, you are doing far more than distracting them while you make sure dinner is top-notch. You’re helping them create great holiday memories and explore their creative side.

Let us know all about your kids’ Thanksgiving crafts by tagging Apartment Guide on Twitter.

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