Keeping the kids entertained at Thanksgiving can be a challenge! We have a fun and useful kids craft to keep those little turkeys busy while your dinner is cooking!
This fun Thanksgiving placemat craft is a tradition in our home. We make them every year around the first so my kids can use them throughout the whole month of November. Thankfully they are all pretty neat eaters (for boys!) so I get to leave all the colorful placemats out as decor. It is always an activity I look forward to. I love spending time with my boys, giggling and admiring their creativity as they work. Bonus, it is an easy, quick, and fun project for all ages!
- 12″ x 18″ Foam Sheets (hold up amazing if you use them throughout the month!)
- Sharpie Brush markers
- Fall Leaves Printable
- Washi Tape (optional)
- Little kid hands (for the turkey body)
There is no formal “how to” on this project! It is all up to your kiddo’s imaginations! 100% unique art!
Creating your Thanksgiving Placemat
After each of my kiddos selected the color of foam sheet they wanted, we took a moment to talk about what sort of things we see around Thanksgiving time. They came up with; hay, corn, pumpkins, scarecrows, horses, and turkeys. Then brainstormed (for all of two seconds!) and decided that they all wanted a to have a turkey! In keeping with the time honored turkey crafting tradition, we of course, used their hands to form the body! My oldest boy was elated that I was “cool” with him taking on this task. The younger two turkeys let (ok, so I made them) mom trace their hands.
Trick: To get a fuller looking “feather” from your kiddo’s fingers, I like to trace loosely around each finger, leaving about a 1/2 in of extra space between the line and their fingers. The results are fluffy feathers!
With our hand turkeys completed, the boys went to town doodling and giggling about their creations. We made our placemats ahead of time but this is a great activity for the kids table, to keep the little ones busy while waiting for a Thanksgiving feast. If you aren’t keen on having a bunch of sharpies in the hands of a table full of children (totally understandable!), let them decorate their placemats with washi tape, stickers or foam cutouts.
I just realized that none of my turkey’s used the fun washi tape I picked out. I guess I’ll just have to use it! Oh darn. 😛
My oldest turkey’s placemat said “Happy Fall” and included a rainbow, pumpkins, a hay bail, and fall leaves. Love it!
The second turkey had some wildly imaginative characters on his placemat. They include, a horse made of hay and a scarecrow that is scared of the hay-horse. He also worked on writing his name…everywhere! Mrs. Laura will be proud! 😀
And the youngest little turkey? Well, he decided to rage war with the makers. The result…he is (still) COVERED in a Sharpie rainbow.
We love, love, LOVE to make these Thanksgiving placemats! You can work these up anyway that you can imagine. I used Sharpie this year because it does not rub off like other markers. In the past we have used, paint, pre-cut felt shapes (made by mom, or purchased) and glue, and fall foam self-adhesive shapes (fox, owl, words, leaves) around the border. Craft stores are bursting at the seams with all kinds of fun things you can use on a foam sheet!
Once we finished up, we spent time admiring each one, and showed them off to Daddy, the biggest turkey of them all! Then, after attempting to wash up, we had fun playing outside in the beautiful fall weather! I love this time of year! Happy fall!