I love winter crafts and activities. I think because although I grew up in Canada I now live in Washington State where we might get one good dumping of snow every winter. Winter crafts and activities have stepped in to fill the void of snowflakes, snow, and snowmen in my life! I love all these winter crafts and activities for preschoolers and my kids have too. We will have even more coming soon so make sure you follow us on Facebook and Pinterest especially my No Time For Flash Cards board on Pinterest to stay up to date with all the rad ideas we are doing.
Whenever we do a craft ( not open ended art) I try to mix in a few things. Usually some color or letter recognition, maybe some tricky fine motor skill development with small bits and pieces, or cutting practice! This Thanksgiving craft is all about cutting practice. For little guys it’s all about getting the grip right, hand position, and control. Cutting isn’t something that most kids have to be tricked into doing many love it and our Cutting Station is a great idea for those kids.
Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate for each wreath, some glue, construction paper ( this is a great craft for scraps!), some glitter glue ( it’s not really a craft according to my daughter unless it has glitter), and some raffia.
Books About Thanksgiving
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A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman is such a cute and funny book about a town that needs a turkey and the hilarious lengths they go to to find one. The town is sadly outwitted by the turkey and end up eating shredded wheat for thanksgiving. The illustrations kept my little man interested when he was a toddler but he only started understanding the dark humor at around 4. I love this book because of the humor makes me giggle. My son was a little off put by the idea of the towns folk eating the turkey and was relived when he escaped before they shoved him in the oven. I like that he is starting to understand that the meat he eats is actually a cooked animal, we take that for granted but for many young kids this is a huge realization!
Two Bad Pilgrims by Kathryn Lasky is a fantastic book that some parents might not like but kids will love it and learn a lot in the process. It’s about two boys who really did sail abroad the Mayflower and whose behavior really was bad. There is a ton of not usually shared information about Pilgrims in this book and as someone who studied colonial history I am in LOVE with this book. The format is a mix of non fiction and comic strip like narrative. I would read it to kids 5 and older although younger children might like just the narrative. There is a ton of info in this book and it would be a wonderful tool to talk about how history books don’t always tell the whole story.
Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey was such a treat to read. It’s a reworking of the classic Christmas poem, with a Thanksgiving twist. A bus full of kids head off to the turkey farm the day before Thanksgiving and are immediately enamored with the birds. When a child asks the farmer what the axe by the door is for… well let’s just say the truth is told and the kids fall apart. They don’t stay down for long though, the kids outsmart the farmer and their teacher to save the turkeys from the axe. Somehow the author finds a way to make the possible slaughter of these happy friendly, named turkey’s funny. My son was giggling while I was kinda nervous that they’d get the axe! Great rhymes throughout this hilarious book!
For more Thanksgiving books check out our round up of Thanksgiving books by clicking on the image below.
I wish I could say I thought this idea up, because it’s SO cute. I didn’t. I adapted this Easter idea into handmade Christmas gifts for my kids to pass along to someone special. These candy terrariums also make fun Christmas decorations or center pieces! They are quick and easy to make which means they are perfect Christmas crafts to make at a party! Here is how we made them and as a side note all this Christmas candy is seriously testing my resolve with my Whole30 challenge. If these are still around on Christmas day I think I may have a nibble or two! Here is how we made these candy terrariums.
Gather your materials. You will need some green and while candies, a foil Santa or snowman, and foil Christmas tree. I got all of our stuff at Target but you can find them on Amazon ( these are affiliate links) here : Santa, Snowman . You will also need some double stick tape, a mason jar , and some baker’s twine ( dollar spot at Target… go now! No they didn’t pay me to say that I just love Target something fierce).
Pop the lid on and tie some baker’s twine around the top. Seriously these are so easy and so cute! Also in the days since my kids have made these and they haven’t asked once for a candy. I think that the lid is a deterrent. Their gingerbread houses they made at the gym didn’t last nearly that long. Maybe they are sneaking them when I am not looking but I don’t think so.
Books About Santa
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Christmas Morning by Cheryl Ryan Harshman wasn’t what I expected , it was more. It’s written in the spirit of ” The House That Jack Built” and the text builds and builds starting with snow falling on a house as children sleep and ending with Christmas morning. What I wasn’t expecting is that the author tells the story of The Nutcracker , albeit a very simplistic version, in the rhyming text as well. The illustrations of the Rat King are a little frightening but nothing that will prevent you from reading it.
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky is a fun and surprisingly practical story about Santa and how he developed the skills needed for his one of a kind job. It starts with Santa as a young man and as he keeps bouncing from job to job he acquires skills like going in and out of chimneys as a chimney sweep with ease and without getting dirty, develops a relationship with reindeer as a zoo worker and gets chubby eating all the food at a all night diner gig! There are more but i don’t want to spoil the story. My son loved it, especially once the elves showed up, which was when the toys did too! I know when i was a kid I wanted to know how Santa got his job, and there are movies dedicated to this so this book jumped on the bandwagon and did a great job , it’s very cute!
How Santa Lost His Job by Stephen Krensky is the second book by this author all about Santa. This time it’s about how he lost his job because of an over zealous elf intent on innovation. The elf is sure that he can invent a machine that can be more efficient than Jolly old St. Nick or can he? I love the commentary about how machines can’t really ever replace people and that being Santa is about much more than just delivering gifts.
We have one more Thanksgiving craft to share later this week but I wanted to round up all our easy turkey crafts for toddlers and kids in one great place. I love making turkey crafts but must admit I can’t stand eating the real thing and fill up on sides instead. I hope that you can find something fun to make from our turkey craft ideas to get your kids excited and interested in learning more about Thanksgiving.
Do you have some fun easy turkey craft and activities for toddlers and kids? Share them in comments!
These pencil toppers crafts are a cinch to make but the glittery foam makes them look super festive. What makes me feel even more festive is to think about how hard my daughter worked on these pencil toppers which will be her little gift to PreK classmates for Christmas. She goes to a church affiliated school so everyone celebrates Christmas but you could adapt this idea for any occasion. The real awesome part of this craft is the use of sticky back glitter foam which is great for glitter-phobes because they are way way less mess than glitter and glue.
Gather your materials. You will need some glitter sticky back foam , some pencils, and scissors.
Start by tracing your triangles on the back of the green foam. Cut out 2 per pencil.
Cut the other colors into strips. This will make it easier for your little artists to handle it and make it small enough to fit on the mini trees.
Once we made enough for the whole class it was time to sandwich them. Peel the backing off the decorated side ( we didn’t decorate the back), press the pencil in, and sandwich. If there are pieces hanging over the sides you can snip those off no problem. Press hard. This foam will stay stuck together if you press firmly and hold for 20-30 seconds. We had 2 of our 14 open the next day but I grabbed an alligator clip and popped it on them for a few minutes and they are back together.
Books About Christmas
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Stick Man by Julia Donaldson tickles my funny bone and my son thought it was funny and full of adventure too. Stick Man is a happy stick who loves with his stick family until a dog grabs him and he ends up far from his family but determined to get home. As the seasons change he is used as many things from a sword, a bat and even an arm for a snowman. After that he ends up in a fireplace just as a certain jolly old guy gets stuck in the chimney. This is a unique story we both enjoyed , you will never look at another stick in your child’s hands without wondering what it’s been turned into .
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston made me cry. The story is about the hardships and love of one family torn apart by World War 1 as they prepare for Christmas with no resources. I love how strong the mother in this book is, she does the best he can with what she has, treks through snow to cut that big old Christmas tree down , and the part that made me cry uses her own wedding dress to make her daughter an angel costume for the Christmas pageant. Oh but that is not all she sacrificed, she used the silk stockings her husband sent her from the war to make a doll for Santa to give to her daughter. The father coming home right as they were leaving the church service – once again starting my water works. It’s an awesome story but probably too long for a group of kids , or toddlers , but perfect for a bedtime story for preschoolers on up. Also this book and the one previous were illustrated by Barbara Cooney , who captures such meaningful stories with her amazing work.
Bear Stays Up for Christmasby Karma Wilson is such a heartwarming story about friendship. Bear is hibernating but his friends wake him up to celebrate Christmas. It’s not easy at first , Bear is super sleepy and wants nothing more than to cuddle back up and fall back to sleep. They get a tree, decorate it, hang their stockings and sing carols. When all the other animals snuggle in and go to sleep Bear stays up. He is busily making gifts for all his friends, he is so busy he doesn’t even notice Santa coming and filling the stockings. He delights in the friendship and when his friends present him with a lovely quilt, he snuggles under and goes back to sleep happy and filled with friendship. This is such a wonderful book , I love it’s focus on friendship and the excitement of giving gifts!