Preschool Thanksgiving Crafts

Thanksgiving Crafts finished placemat
Download this finished placemat craft

As the holidays approach, you can include kids in the fun with some preschool Thanksgiving crafts and art projects. Pre-K love the feeling of creating a fall masterpiece, and they'll be excited to show off their work to grandparents, aunts, and uncles around the holiday dinner table.

Printable Thanksgiving Placemat Crafts

When it's time for dinner, your preschooler will be excited to share his or her artwork in the form of decorative placemats. Dinner guests love these homemade placemats, and they can even do double duty as Thanksgiving party favors.

Things You'll Need

  • Inkjet printer
  • White cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Makers or crayons
  • Non-toxic craft glue or glue stick
  • Stickers
  • Clear contact paper

What To Do

  1. Download and print enough border sheets so that you will end up with one for each guest. Print out the cut-outs as well, so you'll have enough to decorate all of your placemats. Use heavy cardstock for the border pages, and lighter-weight cardstock for the shapes. For help with PDF documents, use these tips.
  2. Use scissors to cut out all the shapes you've printed. (Leave this task to a grown-up or older child.)
  3. Have your child choose which guest will receive the first placemat. Talk together about why you feel thankful for that person.
  4. Let your child decorate the border paper with the cut out pilgrims, leaves, pumpkins, and cornucopias to make a personalized placemat for each guest.
  5. Use stickers and other cut out shapes as desired to finish the placemat. For example, you might use small letter stickers to write a name.
  6. Write a special message from your child on a corner of the placemat. Don't forget to date the artwork.
  7. When the glue is dry, you can laminate the placemat to keep it clean. Simply place it face down on a piece of clear contact paper. Place another piece of contact paper over the back, and then trim the edges to make them even.

See Free Printable Thanksgiving Placements for other designs if you'd like to provide youngsters with additional variety.

Thanksgiving Puppet Show

If your child enjoys making Thanksgiving placemats, you can use the same free printables (from the above activity) to make a puppet theater and put on your own holiday puppet show.

Things You'll Need

Thanksgiving puppet show
  • Inkjet printer

  • White cardstock

  • Crayons or markers

  • Scissors

  • Tape

  • Craft sticks

  • Old shoebox

What To Do

  1. Download the PDF file of the black and white pilgrim images from the placemat craft featured above. Print onto white cardstock.

  2. Let your child color the images as desired.

  3. Help your child cut out the images.

  4. Tape each image to a wooden craft stick to make male pilgrim, female pilgrim, and turkey puppets.

  5. Use the leftover pumpkin and hat cut outs to decorate an old shoebox to use as your puppet show stage.

Fun Turkey Handprint Place Cards

Handmade place cards are a fun way to decorate your holiday table with your child. Making a Thanksgiving place card is an easy art project for pre-K kids (even toddlers!). This activity is a great way for your child to learn about some of the traditions of Thanksgiving.

Things You'll Need

turkey hand print place card
  • Brown construction paper
  • Markers
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Feathers in fall colors
  • White cardstock

What To Do

  1. Have your child use the pencil to trace his or her hand on the brown construction paper. Your preschooler may then need your help to cut out the handprint.
  2. Help your child use glue to attach the feathers to the fingers of the hand pint. Leave the thumb feather-free so it can act as the turkey's head. Your child can decorate the turkey's head and body with markers.
  3. Use markers to write the name of a Thanksgiving dinner guest on the turkey.
  4. Cut the cardstock into a small rectangle and glue part of it to the back of the turkey. Fold it so the turkey will stand up when placed on the dinner table.

Turkey of Thankfulness

This fun art project really helps kids understand the meaning of the holiday. As with any preschool Thanksgiving craft, it's helpful to have the supplies on hand so kids can get started right away.

Thankful turkey from

Things You'll Need

  • Brown construction paper cut in the shape of a turkey's body
  • Fall-colored construction paper "feathers"
  • Markers
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Poster board in a fall color
  • Wiggle eyes
  • A construction paper beak

What To Do

  1. On each construction paper feather, help your child write something for which he or she is thankful.
  2. Glue the brown turkey body onto the poster board. Help your child glue the feathers onto the body.
  3. Help your child attach the turkey's eyes and beak.

More Preschool Arts and Crafts Ideas

With a little extra planning, crafting with young children can be easy and enjoyable. Here are some more projects that your child might enjoy making to celebrate the holiday:

  • Edible Thanksgiving Crafts: Combine snack time and craft time by making fun food crafts like Oreo cookie turkeys or chocolate pilgrim hats.
  • Thanksgiving Napkin Rings: Turn wrapping paper or paper towel tubes into colorful napkin rings to decorate your Thanksgiving table.
  • Paper Turkey Puppet: This cute puppet craft can be used for putting on a show once you've enjoyed your holiday meal.
  • Thanksgiving Coloring Pages: If you don't have the time to gather supplies for a complicated craft project, simple coloring pages with Thanksgiving themes are sure to be a hit.

Easy Pre-K Thanksgiving Crafts

Preschoolers love to get their hands dirty which is one of the many reasons they make wonderful crafting buddies. These projects can also be used as easy Thanksgiving crafts for first graders and other young children. Thanksgiving crafts can help kids understand the history of the holiday and the meaning behind many of our traditions.

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Preschool Thanksgiving Crafts