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19 Easy Thanksgiving Crafts for Preschoolers & Elementary Kids

11/09/2018 12:00:00
  • Thanksgiving Crafts for Preschoolers

     Thanksgiving is one of the least commercial holidays. The day focuses on family and gratitude. Teach your preschoolers the meaning of this particular day when working on the following Thanksgiving crafts.


    “I Am Thankful For” Free Thanksgiving Printable

    These "oh so pretty" Thanksgiving card printables are very easy to make. Just print and cut out the beautiful free templates provided by Uncommon Designs. Have your children pass out a card to each of your Thanksgiving guests (with a pen or pencil).Each guest should then fill out the card with an answer. At dinner have each person talk about what they wrote on their cards. The answers will be fun and sometimes surprising!

    Although these printables are not technically a Thanksgiving craft for preschoolers, the kids can still help mom print, cut and distribute the cards. It is never too early to teach children that concept of gratitude.

    Free Thanksgiving Printable from Uncommon Designs


    Pilgrim Hat Crayon Cups

    These paper cup pilgrim hats are crayon containers and would make such cute decorations for the kid's table at your Thanksgiving dinner. They look festive and can be put together quickly! The pilgrim hats add a fun touch to the holiday and help keep the little ones occupied while the grownups cook the family meal. You might even want to make one hat per child and have them take the containers home as a favor.

    Pilgrim Hat Crayon Cups from Lil' Luna


    Lovely Leaf Lights

    Have your children make these festive tealight candle holders! Just glue some paper leaves onto a paper band around the neck of a candle holder. Light the candle and voila! Beautiful Thanksgiving crafts for preschoolers that magically transform into a dinner candle. Impressive table decor your kids will be proud to have made!

    Lovely Leaf Lights from Paper Source


    Turkey Toes Free Printable

    This printable craft is perfect for all that candy corn you have left over from Halloween. It seems to be one of the most disliked candies of all the Halloween options.You may love candy corn, or you may hate it, but it works well with this fun Thanksgiving craft perfect for preschoolers. Give your kids a laugh and bag up some turkey toes for some holiday fun.

    Turkey Toes Free Printable from Saving Dollars and Sense


    Origami Turkey

    Origami Turkey Tutorial
     Chrissy Pk

    You and your children can practice your origami skills with these fun and easy turkeys! All you need is some sturdy paper and an afternoon free for crafting. Use your paper turkeys to decorate your table on Thanksgiving.

    Origami Turkey from The Spruce


    Fall Candle Centerpiece Craft

    This fall candle centerpiece will add some elegance to your table, but it is a Thanksgiving simple enough for preschoolers to make. Wrap a burlap ribbon around a candle and glue on a silk or paper leafs. Finish it with some wrapped twine and you are done. Fast, simple and very pretty!

    Fall Candle Centerpiece Craft from That's What Che Said

  • Thanksgiving Coloring Page Download

    This darling Thanksgiving coloring page is free for download. Keep your kids busy while you are finishing cooking the holiday meal, and attending to last minute details. Why not have a coloring contest and award a prize to the best "artist" to add some fun to the day!

    Thanksgiving Coloring Page from More Than a Mom of Three

    • Candy Corn Turkey Artwork

      This candy corn turkey craft is a perfect Thanksgiving craft for preschoolers! Help little ones trace their hands onto a sheet of paper, then color and glue candy corn onto the drawing. Kids will have fun, and moms will have some beautiful refrigerator worthy artwork! This craft is a classic Thanksgiving favorite.

      Candy Corn Turkey Artwork from The Jenny Evolution


      Paper Turkey Hat

      This turkey paper craft tutorial is a little bit different from the other one featured in this roundup but is just as cute and fun to make. This hat highlights real feathers instead of paper ones. You really can't go wrong with either option!

      Paper Turkey Hat from Gather and Nest


      Thankful Wind Spinners

      Throw these wind spinners into your crafts rotation for some fall fun. This project is also another excellent way for kids to express their thanks, this year.

      Thankful Wind Spinners from Make and Takes


      Popsicle Stick Turkey Craft

      This cute turkey stands up all by itself! Your kids can craft this for a centerpiece at the kids' table (and the grown-ups table too).

      Popsicle Stick Turkey Craft from The Spruce


      Paper Bag Turkey Puppets

      Take your traditional paper bag puppets to the next level with plenty of colorful feathers. Ask your kids to brainstorm what they're most thankful for this year, and they can write it on the front of their puppet. Now all that's left to do is play with them!

      Paper Bag Turkey Puppets from Crafty Morning


      Thanksgiving Cootie Catcher

      origami cootie catcher for thanksgiving
       Bren Did

      We love cootie catchers–they make us nostalgic for our childhood school days. Now your kids can enjoy the same memories, with this Thanksgiving version that is very festive and fun.

      Thanksgiving Cootie Catcher from Bren Did


      Easy Thankful Turkeys

      This simple paper craft doubles as an excellent gratitude exercise for your children. Join them as they jot down what they're most thankful for onto each feather of their turkey.

      Easy Thankful Turkeys from Make and Takes


      Egg Carton Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving

      Egg Carton Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving
       Red Ted Art

      Recycle your empty egg cartons into a fun craft. These adorable turkeys are the perfect containers for small treats, like candy corn or M&Ms.

      Egg Carton Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving from Red Ted Art


      "Handy" Thanksgiving Wreath

      'Handy' Thanksgiving Wreath

      Your child can adorn their own bedroom door with a festive wreath this year when they make this "handy" craft. Let this be a learning activity too, as you help your child learn the months of the year.

      'Handy' Thanksgiving Wreath from


      Turkey Thank You Card

      Turkey Thank You Card
       DecoArt Blog

      A fun and seasonally appropriate activity: your children can practice their penmanship and write notes to their friends and family. The children can let them know for what they're most thankful.

      Turkey Thank You Card from DecoArt Blog


      DIY Thankful Jar for Kids

      We love this Thankful Jar idea because it's a great way to remind kids what they're grateful for on the gloomiest of days. Have them pull out one popsicle stick every time they need an encouraging word.

      DIY Thankful Jar for Kids from Premeditated Leftovers


      Thankful Pumpkins

      These pumpkins are a great no-carve decorating idea. Paint them ahead of time and for Thanksgiving dinner, place them on the table, so everyone can take turns writing what they're most thankful for.

      Thankful Pumpkins from Kelly Elko


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The 10 Best Halloween Costume for Kids to Buy in 2018

10/04/2018 12:00:00

Halloween is all about the costumes, and more importantly ones for kids. From witches, vampires and puppies the ideas are endless when it comes to dressing up your children, and let's face it they can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide. With a bunch of blockbuster movies this past year, most of the popular costumes feature some of your favorite movie characters, but we've also rounded up some perennial favorites for when you want to stray from mainstream. 

Our list covers costumes for toddlers to pre-teens and themes range from sweet to scary. So, stop the search and buy one of our top recommendations for the best Halloween costume yet. 

  • What kid isn’t obsessed with Paw Patrol? Perfect for three-to-four year olds, this jumpsuit, headpiece and backpack combo gets them dressed up as heir favorite cartoon character in a jiffy, which is ideal for active toddlers. Plus — they’ll be happy wearing their favorite TV personality, while you'll actually get your picture moment because they aren’t ripping the costume off. A win, win for both!

    Every girl needs to be a witch some point in her Halloween lifetime. This getup is not only stylish and sweet it also looks good. Kids sizes 2 to 4 can show off this adorable costume that comes with a long sleeve full-skirted dress and hat. If the weather is cool by you, consider layering under a black turtleneck and leggings for added warmth. To top off the look, a pair of black boots and a broom will be just the thing to get her off for flight.  

    With the Lego Ninjango movie just hitting theater's now couldn’t be a more perfect time to rock this costume. Available for kids in sizes suiting 4 to 12 year-olds, this outfit covers the whole body with its constructed top and pants, half mask and signature Lego hands you've come to love over the years. 

    Hot off being summer’s biggest blockbuster, Wonder Woman is still going strong. And there is no reason why your girl shouldn’t show off her fearlessness with this updated costume. Included in this set are the top, pants, tiara, belt with lasso and gauntlets and it has a wide range fitting most kids age 4 to 14. Your girl can add her own Wonder Womanness by adding killer kicks, and some sparkle. 


    Your girl can don the yellow dress just like Belle in Beauty and the Beast with this polyester dress that has ruffled organza and off-the-shoulder straps. You can complete the look with additional accessories like a crown and gloves for the full effect. To style her hair, make sure to add lots of curls and ringlets for a true transformation. 

    Fans of Guardian of Galaxy can dress as the adorable Groot with a jumpsuit that has an attached shoe cover and a mask to finish the look. This costume fits children 44" to 60" tall so it covers a wide variety of ages. He’ll go pretty much undisguised as the dance happy tree that comes to life when music plays, with the tree like mask. In fact, why not teach him some moves he can perform when he's greeted at a neighbors door. 

    Mermaids always seem to be a hit with little girls, and this number does just the thing while also keeping her covered up. The one-piece mermaid dress has a foam tail on a printed dress giving her the complete look with just one slip over the head and it comes in sizes suitable from 2T to 10. She can also add layers underneath depending on the weather. To finish it off, add a braid to her hair or let it go long and curly for that beach swept look. This costume is bound to be one of her all-time favorites.

    If your kid is into tech, a robot might be a cute option for him this year. The jumpsuit with foam overlay and a headpiece fits kids age 2 to 6 and you can add leggings underneath for extra warmth when needed. They’ll get a kick out of walking and talking like an actual robot. Just be sure he unplugs before bed!


    If your youngster loves tools and helping others, they’ll simply adore wearing the Melissa & Doug Let’s Pretend Construction Set! This simple yet realistic-looking outfit is all your child needs to feel like they can build and fix just about anything—a bright yellow safety vest, tiny tool belt, saw, blueprints, and hammer are all included in the set. It can also function as an outfit for creative play and dress-up after Halloween. Reviewers on love the Melissa & Doug Construction Set, thanks to its “great price and great quality."


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Fine Motor Skills

09/07/2018 12:00:00

Fine Motor Skills is one of the main areas I sought to improve in my Pre-K classroom this past year (2008-09). I think fine motor is an area which is often overlooked, yet it is so important. Fine motor skills are the foundation children need before they learn handwriting, in order to have proper pencil grasp and control of a writing instrument.

My goals were to increase the fine motor materials available in our classroom environment, and to plan activities and materials that are interesting and fun so that children would be motivated to use them and would choose them during their free choice time. Most of these activities use “found materials” that can be borrowed, donated, or purchased inexpensively, rather than commercially produced and sold in an educational catalog. Below are several of the fine motor skills activities my class did this year. A few of these ideas were borrowed from Montessori (and I’ve noted those below).

Water Drops with Suction Cups

The little suction cups on the bottom of these bathtub shapes become mini bowls when turned upside down and used in this activity. (These were purchased at the Dollar Tree.) Children use a finger grasp to squeeze one drop of colored water into each little bowl on the dish. [Idea borrowed from Montessori]

Water Droppers

Beads with Suction Cups

These are the same bathtub shapes as in the above activity. Children use their thumb and forefinger to grasp each little bead and place it on a bowl on the shape. The beads are pony beads purchased from a craft store. [Idea borrowed from Montessori]

Tweezers & Beads


Children use their fine motor muscles to squeeze the clothespins to clip each piece of clothing to the clothesline. I tied a piece of thick string to the handles of a wooden tray to make the clothesline, and used mini clothespins (although the regular sized clothespins can be used as well). The clothes are Barbie doll clothes purchased at a dollar store. As an alternative, you could cut out shapes of shirts and pants from felt.


Clothespins on a Box

Children squeeze the clothespins and clip them to the sides of the box. To make the activity more interesting, I wrote letters on dot stickers and placed the dot stickers around the sides of the boxes. I wrote letters on the clothespins so the children would match the letters on the clothespins to the letters on the boxes. Other skills could be used, e.g. colors, numbers, beginning sounds. This is similar to activities where children clip clothespins to a paper plate or cardstock circle; however, in my experience, those were flimsy and awkward to use, which is why I like the box better. Any sturdy box could be used (shoe box, postal box). The boxes in this picture were stacking gift boxes that held chocolate covered nuts (a Christmas gift), and they worked out perfectly.

Clothespins on a Box

Nuts & Bolts

These larger nuts and bolts can be purchased individually at hardware stores. The cost is usually no more than $0.40 to $0.50 each. Children use their fingers, hands, and wrists, coordinating both hands while grasping and twisting the metal nuts onto the bolts.

Nuts and Bolts

Sewing/Lacing Cards

These can be purchased or made with poster board and a hole puncher. Use shoe laces or plastic lacing. Tie one end of the lace to one hole of the card. Children lace the string through each hole. These can be made to match different themes or holidays.

Lacing Cards

Plate Sewing

Tie lengths of yarn to plastic yarn needles, and knot the end. Children “sew” the yarn on a styrofoam plate by pushing the needle in and out through the plate.

Sewing a Plate

Stringing Cut Straws

Cut plastic drinking straws into small pieces, about 1-inch. (Cutting the straws is another great fine motor activity for kids.) Tie yarn to a plastic needle, or use plastic laces, and knot the end. Children string the straws onto the yarn or lace.

Stringing Straws

Stringing Beads

Children string pony beads onto pipe cleaners.

Stringing Beads

Bean Gluing

Children draw a simple picture on a piece of construction paper with a pencil. They trace the pencil lines with glue and glue the beans onto the design. Gripping the beans with their fingers is good fine motor practice.


Seeds and Tweezers

Children pick up different types of seeds with tweezers and sort them by type into the cups.

Seeds and Tweezers

Unifix Cubes or Interlock Cubes

Children push the cubes with their hands to hook them together. Unifix cubes connect on one end and can make a long “train”. Interlock Cubes connect on different sides and can make different things, for example the dogs the children were making in the photo.

Interlock Cubes


In advance, cut construction paper into 1-inch long strips. Children “snip” the strips into smaller pieces and glue them onto their paper to make a mosaic. This activity is great for children who are not yet skilled with scissors, but need cutting practice because they can snip the paper with one cut.


Eyedropper Art

Children use eyedroppers to drop liquid watercolor onto a coffee filter or paper towel. (I use Colorations Liquid Watercolor from Discount School Supply.) If liquid watercolor is not available, you can color water with food color. Also see my blog post for adapting this activity for holidays or themes.

eye droppers

Paper Clips

The children in my class are always wanting to use paper clips because they see me use them, so I set up this activity in the fine motor center. I cut squares of colored construction paper and placed them on the tray along with colored paper clips. Children stack the papers (all of the same color) and clip them with the matching colored paper clip. This was challenging for some children to manipulate the paper clip, but they loved doing it, and it gave them an opportunity to use paper clips with permission.

Paper Clips

Dot to Dot

I printed out the Geoboard Dot Paper from the Math Their Way website for this activity (I used the size on the second page). I added Pip Squeak markers, which are great for young children because they are short. Children draw lines with the markers to connect the dots on the paper.

Dot to Dot

Toothpick Punch

To do this activity, cut squares of construction paper (I cut mine 6×6 inches). Draw a numeral, letter, or simple shape with a Sharpie. I placed a stack of these papers in the fine motor center, along with toothpicks and a carpet square. Children place the paper on the carpet square and use the toothpick to punch holes all along the black lines. When they are done, they can hold their paper up to the light and see the light shining through the holes. Kids enjoy it and it’s great fine motor practice!

Toothpick Punch

Pinching Sand

Sand art is a great fine motor activity because children can pinch the sand with their fingers to apply it to their art work. Provide a simple outline (or have the children draw one), a small bowl of white glue, a small bowl of colored sand, and a “glue brush”. I buy the cheap paintbrushes with stiff bristles that are sold in a package for $1 at dollar stores. These brushes are not a good enough quality for painting, but they make great glue brushes. Children paint the glue on their paper with the brush, pinch some sand with their fingers, and sprinkle it over the glue. Place a pan, tray, or paper plate on the table for children to shake off the excess sand.

Sand Art

Insect Wrapping

Children wrap the plastic insects with pieces of white yarn (“spider webs”). When they are finished wrapping all of the insects, they unwrap them and place the yarn back in the bowl. We do this activity during a study of bugs and spiders.

Insects & Yarn

Birds Eating Worms

Cut pipe cleaners into smaller pieces and shape them to make several “worms”. Place the worms on a brown carpet square (this represents the dirt). Children use a clothespin as a bird beak and catch the worms with their beak. As they catch worms, they place them in a basket until all of the worms have been collected.

pipe cleaners & clothespins

Marbles and Melon Scoops

Children scoop the marbles with melon scoops and place them in the ice cube tray. This ice cube tray was found at a kitchen discount store. Also posted at Fine Motor in the Sensory Table. See my blog post for a Halloween adaption to this activity.

Marbles and Melon Scoops


Children pour something from one bottle to another. I started out having them pour popcorn seeds. They can later try pouring sand, and then water.


Color Mixing

Children mix primary-colored water to make secondary colors. The bucket in the middle is for dumping the water when finished, or to start over. Also posted on the Sensory Tablepage.

Colored water & eye droppers

Knobbed Puzzles

Children exercise the fingers used for a pencil grasp when picking up puzzle pieces that have knobs or pegs.

Knobbed Puzzles


A bit obvious, but should not be forgotten.


Play Dough

An old stand-by. Also see my webpage for more play dough activities.

play dough

Peg Boards

Another old stand-by.

Peg boards
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