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Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday! It is a day to reflect on how good God has been to you and your family, giving you bounty and shelter, health and hope. What a great spiritual renewal to spend the day reflecting on how good God has been to you and your family this past year, giving you harvest and shelter, health and hope. To get the most out of this joyous time, make some holiday crafts with your kids. These days, Thanksgiving is often crowded out by the spooky decorations of Halloween and the lights and parties of Christmas. With the following holiday crafts, your home is ready to be decorated for this quieter but important celebration.
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Turkeys are a natural choice for decorations. A familiar project at this time of year is to have your child trace around her hand and make a turkey out of the drawing. The thumb is the head and the fingers are the tail feathers, all displayed. While many of the turkeys being raised for food today are the domesticated white variety, the turkeys the Puritans ate on the first Thanksgiving were wild brown turkeys. Wild turkeys have brown tail feathers, but they are iridescent, catching the light and appearing to come in many colors. That’s why kids dye the tail feathers bright colors.
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The turkey’s head has a wattage at the base of the beak. This is a vertical flap of loose skin that is red. Be sure to draw this so that the turkey in your hand looks like a turkey. Add the skinny legs and bird feet. When finished, children can cut out the turkey and hang it on the wall. It’s really cute to make a whole flock of these turkeys in the size of all the hands in the family. The little hands are especially cute in shape.
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Another great turkey decoration when making Thanksgiving crafts is a turkey door decoration. Use brown construction paper to make a turkey body and head. Now make lots of colorful feather shapes. Each family member writes something he or she is thankful for on the feathers and stick them on as part of the turkey tail. Repeat until you have used all the feathers, then hang the turkey on the front door and greet visitors with words of thanks. Make a sign for the turkey that says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” Or simply say “Be thankful!” Or “We give thanks for you!” Or whatever you like.
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Kids love making construction paper chains. To further decorate the house for Thanksgiving, have them make a paper chain in fall colors as one of their holiday crafts. Using a 9-by-12-inch piece of construction paper, cut the paper in half from the long side and cut the halves into six-inch strips one inch thick. Use a stapler to secure the ends of the strips into a circle. Wrap the next strip into the circle and staple it in place. Continue this process, alternating colors of brown, red, yellow and orange. When the chains are long, you can drape them along the ceiling or stair rails. If you don’t do the turkey on the door, the kids can write what they are thankful for on each note and then add it to the chain.
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Thanksgiving is too good a holiday to let other, more commercialized holidays crowd it out. By making holiday crafts to decorate your Thanksgiving home, you too can keep the day special. The extended family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. will be delighted to see the holiday crafts made by the little ones to decorate the house and cheer them on for their visit.