This is my favorite time of year and even though I have some new fall crafts to share I can’t ignore these old favorites we made in the past that may even be new to you.
I am thankful for the time I have spent crafting, painting and creating with my son. Today’s thanksgiving craft asks kids to show us what they are thankful for by drawing a picture, and then making a fall fringe frame . This is a great opportunity to practice patterns and/ or counting and if mess makes you squirm using double stick tape will take care of that!
- Gather your materials. You will need some white paper or construction paper, orange, red, brown and yellow construction paper, a paper cutter or scissors, crayons and double stick tape.
- Start by giving your child the paper and crayons ( or markers, pencil crayons or even paints) and ask them to draw a picture of what they are thankful for.
- While they draw cut the colored construction paper into small strips.
- If your child can’t write yet ask them to tell you about their picture and label it for them. My son is thankful for hot chocolate and his sister, mostly just hot chocolate though!
- Add double stick tape to all the edges.
- Start adding the strips. My son wasn’t in a patterning mood so we counted to 51 ( his most favorite number!) and then I added the rest. Interestingly enough the straightest sections were done by him. As you probably know adding these little strips are also a good fine motor workout.
- Simple but meaningful!
I love sensory tubs and one of the reasons is illustrated beautifully in this post. They aren’t just a chance to scoop and pour ( although don’t discount the importance of that) they are also a chance to make believe, create a new mini landscape and practice imaginative play. Children love to explore so when you create a sensory bin allow them to add to it as well, it’s not a static item but rather a dynamic experience for them to create with.
- Gather your materials. You will need a big pan or plastic tub, some multicolored unpopped popcorn , red quinoa, and brown rice. You will also need some fall leaf confetti, and scoops. Obviously you don’t need to follow our contents exactly but I do love the corn since it ties into other Thanksgiving crafts so well. Orange lentils, wild rice, flax seeds etc… all have a fall feeling to them too.
- Pour the dried grains etc.. into the tub. Have your child help with this , my son loves ” cooking up” the sensory bins.
- Add the fall confetti. Be careful some of ours were pretty small, fabric leaves are another larger option for younger children.
- Add the scoops and containers and start playing.
- Follow your child’s imagination, we went and got some construction vehicles.
I get asked all the time what I do with these tubs after he’s done playing. I pop them into ziplocs and keep them , and pull them out for quiet play time often. The variety keeps him interested and as long as the bags are sealed from moisture and insects you can keep them indefinitely.
The Little Engine That Could Saves the Thanksgiving Day Parade by Watty Piper is unremarkable. The story is about a school band who has a flat tire and hitches a ride on the train to get to the Thanksgiving Day parade on time. My son liked the instruments and the train but the story was pretty boring and it was obvious to me why this was one of the only Thanksgiving books left at my local library. If you have a child who is wild about trains I would maybe check it out of the library but it’s not worth purchasing in my opinion.
Thanksgiving at the Tappleton’s by Eileen Spinelli is a really cute story that offers many opportunities for parents to talk about lying, disappointment and what really matters at Thanksgiving. The Tappleton’s Thanksgiving dinner is doomed, first the turkey falls in the pond, then there are no pies left at the bakery and then continues to get worse. No one wants to be the person to ruin the holiday dinner and keeps it a secret that the part of the meal that was their responsibility is ruined. Of course this means they end up eating liverwurst and pickles for dinner but Grandma saves Thanksgiving by reminding them all that it doesn’t matter what they are eating but who they are eating with.
Patty’s Pumpkin Patch by Teri Sloat is a great alphabet book and story in one. Readers follow a pumpkin patch from planting the seeds until after Halloween when they gather the seeds for the next planting. I really like how this book combines an alphabet book with both upper and lowercase letters corresponding to some animal or insect in the story . I also like the easy rhythm of the rhyming text and the engaging and detailed illustrations . All in all I think this is a great fall book!
Scissor skills are important skills for young kids to work on because they aid in handwriting development as well as eye hand coordination. With Thanksgiving coming up my son decided he wanted to make a Thanksgiving craft, this is what we came up with! You don’t have to include construction vehicles in yours but I think it’s a good reminder not to take craft time too seriously.
- Gather your materials. You will need brown ( whole sheet), red,white, yellow and orange construction paper ( scrap paper would do well). You will also need glue, scissors and a marker.
- Draw a ear of corn on your brown paper.
- Cut your paper into smaller strips to make it easier for your child to cut them.
- Start cutting. We shared this task.
- If you want smaller kernels of corn, cut the paper into even smaller strips for your child to cut into pieces.
- Add glue ( and construction vehicles if desired).
- Using your hands or a front loader and dump truck add the cut pieces on the cob.
- Add more glue as needed and keep adding pieces.
- My son insisted on using his toy steam roller to press the pieces down so I grabbed a plastic bag to put between the craft and his toy to prevent glue everywhere.
- Let dry.
- Cut the husks from the corn.
- Color with a brown marker.
- glue the husks over the cob and let dry.
Fall is in full swing around here, between the pumpkins creeping up on porches in my neighborhood to the bursts of red, yellow and orange everywhere I had to make a leaf rubbing craft. I have to be honest my son was only kinda into this craft. He liked doing the rubbing the first few times and then after that the only thing he wanted to do was be the tape guy! We often put a craft down and return to it at our leisure, or sometimes ditch it forever. Forcing kids to do art defeats the purpose no one is creative or learning when they are forced to do anything.
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper towel roll, some white paper, scissors, tape, crayons in fall colors with the paper removed and leaves from your garden.
- Start by going outside and finding some fun leaves , bringing them in and pat them dry if needed.
- Place the leaves vein side up under a piece of paper – for my son I taped the leaves onto a paper so they wouldn’t shift when he was trying to do the rubbing. This is where I lost him, after one exposure to the tape and well tape was all he wanted to do.
- Rub your crayons over the paper and watch the magic leaf appear! You can see I still had to hold his paper steady.
- Cut them out as you go.
- Time to tape. We used tape because it would be very tricky to glue with white glue and our glue stick was MIA. A glue stick would work nicely as long as you glued it horizontally and waited until it was dry to stand it up.
- Attach all the leaves and stand up!
Books About Leaves
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert was the inspiration for this craft and will leave you trying to find all sorts of things like butterflies, chickens and fish in leaf piles. The book is about a leaf man who blows away in the wind and the reader is taken past all sorts of animals like chickens and ducks, past rivers filled with fish and butterflies in the air. All are leaves pieced together to make these awesome images , some are obvious, some take concentration to see the animal among the leaves. Wonderful creative book to welcome the changing seasons.
Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber is a beautifully illustrated , informative book that all all about leaves in autumn. It’s not the most exciting book but is a good teaching resource and tool when you are teaching your child about the changing seasons. I can’t say this is a must read, but it’s useful and worth a look at your local library and will probably make you and your children want to jump in a few giant piles of leaves!
Lucky Leaf by Kevin O’Malley is a funny book about a boy kicked outside and off his video game by a parent and his quest for a lucky leaf. He waits and waits for the last leaf from a tree to fall, even after his friends give up and go home. The story is cute and my son thought it was funny. I liked the comic book format of the illustrations and the little boy’s dog has some pretty funny facial expressions throughout.