Holiday Crafts: Thanksgiving Decorations Kids Can Make

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday!  What a spiritual renewal to take a day to reflect over the past year about just how good God has been to you and your family, to give you harvest and shelter, health and hope.  To get the most out of this joyous occasion, make some holiday crafts with your children.  These days, Thanksgiving often gets squeezed out by Hallowe'en's spooky decorations and the lights and gala of Christmas.  With the following holiday crafts, your home can be decorated for this quieter but important celebration.

Turkeys are a natural choice for decorations.  A familiar project at this time of year is for a child to trace around her hand and make the resulting drawing into a turkey.  The thumb is the head and the fingers are the tail feathers all displayed.  While many of the turkeys that are raised for food are now the domestic white variety, the turkeys eaten by the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving were the wild brown ones.  The tail feathers on a wild turkey are brown, but they are iridescent. catching light and appearing to be multi-colored.  This is why children color the tail feathers in bright colors. 

The turkey's head has a wattle under the beak.  This is a vertical flap of loose skin that is red colored.  Be sure to draw this in order to make the hand turkey look like a turkey.  Add skinny legs and bird feet.  When done, the children can cut out the turkeys and hang them on the wall.  It's really cute to make a whole flock of these turkeys in the sizes of all the hands in the family.  The little hand shapes are particularly sweet.

Another nice turkey decoration to make when making Thanksgiving holiday crafts is a turkey door decoration.  Make a brown construction paper body and head of a turkey.  Now make a large number of colored feather shapes.  Each family member writes on a feather something he or she is thankful for before attaching as part of the turkey's tail.  Repeat until all the feathers are used, and hang the turkey on the front door to greet visitors with a message of gratitude.  Make a sign to accompany the turkey that says "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good!" or simply "Be thankful!"  or "We're thankful for you!" or whatever you like.

Children love making construction paper chains.  To further decorate the house for Thanksgiving, let them make a paper chain in fall colors as one of their holiday crafts.  Using 9 by 12 inch construction paper, cut the paper in half across the long side and cut the halves into one inch thick six inch long strips.  Use a stapler to attach the ends of the strip into a circle.  Loop the next strip into the circle and staple it.  Continue the process alternating colors of brown, red, yellow, and orange.  When the chains are long, you can drap them along the ceiling or stair rail.  If you don't make the door turkey, the children can write something they're thankful for on each strip of paper before adding it to the chain.

Thanksgiving is too nice a holiday to let the other more commercial holidays crowd it out.  By making holiday crafts to decorate the home for Thanksgiving, you can keep this day special, too.  The extended family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc., will be pleased to see the holiday crafts the young ones have made to decorate the house and make it cheerful for their visit.

Returning to the Simple Joys of Home and Hobby

In the past decades, many mothers have made the decision to pursue careers, but that trend seems to be changing.  Home and hobby are calling to these women, who are willing to make financial and personal sacrifices in order to be the primary caregivers for their small children.  Many women have returned to being keepers at home, and hobby skills can help them meet the financial challenges of being a one income family.

One hobby that helps the mother at home is cooking.  Though it could be considered work, cooking and baking are fascinating hobbies.  One can explore the cuisine of different countries or learn to create gourmet treats.  Baking can yield wholesome whole grain products that nourish the family for a fraction of the cost of loaves bought at the store. 

Another home and hobby skill that comes in handy is sewing on a sewing machine.  Many homemakers are producing quilts that are works of art.  These beautiful offerings can be made inexpensively by recycling unwanted fabrics into squares and other shapes and artistically arranging the pieces.  Other sewing skills that are useful for the stay-at-home-mom are mending, altering, and creating clothing.  When polled about favorite pastimes, women often rank sewing at the top.

Some moms and their husbands actively work on remodeling their home, and hobby carpentry skills come in handy.  One income families hold down the cost of living by learning to "do it yourself," a term that is used so much it has been shortened into "diy."  The Internet has made it possible to find information on making all sorts of repairs and renovations to homes, furnishings and other belongings.

Gardening is a hobby that not only gets the participant close to nature, but also can put high quality produce on the family table.  Some families are even investing in hobby greenhouses or growing enough extra to sell a bit each week at farmers' markets.  A good practical hobby like growing a garden gives a person a sense of accomplishment when they realize their efforts have created something useful and profitable.

The homemaking parent that has a sense of art can inexpensively create harmony and beauty around the house, raising everyone's standard of living. It doesn't have to involve spending any money.  Perhaps she can arrange dried wild flowers beautifully or create simple hand-lettered wall mottoes that lift everyone's spirits.

Yes, home and hobby call to the women of today, suggesting a simpler way of life closer to those people and things that matter most.  While the career women are truly making an important impact on today's world, the quiet return of many to home and hobby may result in more impact than any of us realizes.

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