Thanksgiving is a great time to do arts-and-crafts with your little ones! Here are a few ideas our TLC for Kids sitters came up with to keep kids busy on the next day you have inside:
1. Build a Thankful Tree. Talk to your child about what they have to be thankful for by putting up a tree of thanks in your house. On each leaf, write down what your child says he/she is thankful for. Each day your family will be reminded of all the good things they have.
2. Make a turkey with your handprints. The age-old craft of making a turkey with your handprint is a classic favorite. Even though it’s been around for many years, it gives your child the opportunity to practice his/her fine motor skills and it’s a good sensory activity if you let your child dip their hand in paint. You can use one handprint for the turkey’s body and one several handprints around the body for the feathers.
3. Create the Mayflower. We spend a lot of time talking about the delicious Thanksgiving food and what we have to be thankful for, but Thanksgiving is also a good time for a mini history lesson with your kiddos. Find a book about how Thanksgiving came to be and then build the Mayflower with your children. You can use any materials you have on hand to make a boat!
A lot of the children we spend time with have a stack of their favorite books. Instead of just reading their books, we can enhance the reading experience by planning activities to do that go along with their top picks.
Here are a few ideas:
1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. You can reenact the book with the children by hiding teddy bears around the house. To dramatize the experience, let the kids use binoculars and flashlights to find the different bears. While searching for the bears, encourage conversation and imaginative play by asking the children what sounds they hear and what they see. You can pretend you hear growls and see bear tracks.
2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is all about the alphabet. Just reading the book is a great learning activity, but you can make it even more interactive by planning a craft to go with the reading. One activity to do along with the book is simple: all you need is a baking sheet, magnetic letters, and a palm tree (you can create this yourself with construction paper). Tape the palm tree to your baking sheet. Then, with the magnetic letters, you and your kids can mimic the actions in the book.
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The Very Hungry Caterpillar gives you lots of opportunities to do color recognition (along with food recognition) and opportunities to practice counting. After you finish reading the book, you can create the very hungry caterpillar with just a few items: play dough, pipe cleaner, and sticky eyes. Look at the picture below to show you how to create the caterpillar. Now you have included sensory play and fine motor skills.