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Published November 23, 2010, 12:00 AM

Craft projects cut out Thanksgiving boredom for little ones

Thanksgiving can be the Longest Day of the Year for kids. A holiday that centers on overeating and marathon football just can’t compete with the glitz and mystique of Christmas. A kid is bound to start chanting, “I’m bored,” somewhere in between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the pumpkin pie course.

Thanksgiving can be the Longest Day of the Year for kids.

A holiday that centers on overeating and marathon football just can’t compete with the glitz and mystique of Christmas. A kid is bound to start chanting, “I’m bored,” somewhere in between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the pumpkin pie course.

One way to keep the 12-and-under crowd engaged is to set up a craft station. You can ask a patient and willing relative to help supervise with the tougher tasks. (A few of the following creations can even be incorporated into the Thanksgiving table.)


Hat tricks

Turkey Headband

You’ll need the following materials to make this fun and unstuffy turkey-leg “dinnerwear.”

Large paper grocery bag

Paper lunch bags

Tape

Scissors

Scrap or tissue paper

White paper napkins

Stapler

For the headband of the hat, cut a 25-by-5-inch strip from a paper grocery bag and fold it in thirds lengthwise. Wrap it around your child’s head, overlapping the ends by at least 2 inches. Use tape to close the band.

To make each turkey leg, trim down a paper lunch bag so it stands just 7 inches tall. Smooth the bag around your fist to shape it and then stuff it half full with balled-up tissue paper.

To make each bone, unfold two white paper napkins and crumple one napkin into a ball. Drape the second napkin over the ball and twist it to form the narrow part of the bone. Insert this end into the stuffed bag. Twist and tape the two parts to secure them.

Staple the legs to the headband and use tape to cover the staple ends inside the band.


Pilgrim Hat

You’ll need:

2 pieces black felt; a 7-by-25-inch rectangle and a 13-inch-wide circle

Chalk

Glue stick or glue gun

Scissors

2½-by-25-inch colored felt strip or ribbon

Feather or “buckle” made from yellow construction paper

To make the hat, wrap the rectangular piece of felt around your child’s head and mark with chalk where the edges touch. Remove the felt and use a glue stick to attach the ends of the felt at the place you’ve just marked.

Place the hat top in the center of the 13-inch circle and trace around the circumference, leaving a 3-inch hat brim. Set aside the hat top.

Using chalk, divide the circle into eight pie slices or spokes. Cut along the spokes (do not cut around the outside of the circle) so that you have eight pointed flaps.

Slip the felt circle over the hat top, leaving the pointed flaps sticking up. Then fold back each flap and glue them onto the hat top. The top of the hat will be open.

Glue on the colored felt band or ribbon so it covers the folded-over flaps. Glue on a feather or the buckle.


Cute Cornucopia

One way to get kids to eat fruit and veggies is to serve them in a fun way. Children are even more likely to eat the food if they’ve also helped prepare it.

To make this cute cornucopia, you’ll need:

Flour tortillas

Toothpicks

Small vegetables and fruit (baby carrots, baby pickles, baby corn ears, peas, berries, grape tomatoes)

Ranch dressing or fruit dip

To make a cornucopia, cut each tortilla in half. Roll it into a cone with the rounded edge at the open end. Secure with a toothpick; then fill with fruit and vegetables. Serve with a favorite dip or dressing.


Indian Corn Napkin Rings

Colorful buttons re-create the multi-toned kernels found in that popular harvest maize.

Materials:

Felt

Popsicle or craft sticks

Tacky glue or (if adult is supervising) hot glue gun

Small paintbrush

Buttons in assorted colors (available by the bag at craft stores)

For each napkin ring, cut a 4-by-5½-inch piece of felt. Starting at one short end of the rectangle, glue on 12 Popsicle sticks, lining them up side by side. (You can use the paintbrush to spread the glue.) You should end up with a margin of uncovered felt at the end.

Once the glue dries, form a ring – with the Popsicle sticks on the outside – by gluing the overlapped felt together.

Now glue on rows of buttons, alternating the colors to resemble an ear of Indian corn. Let the glue dry completely.


The Thankful Tree

The Thankful Tree can be brought out every year to make a new family tradition. Each year, family members can create new “leaves,” listing people and things they appreciate.

Materials:

1 (12-by-12-inch) piece of cardstock (available at scrapbook or craft stores)

1 piece of green or red patterned scrapbooking paper to make the top of the tree

1 piece of brown patterned scrapbooking paper for the tree trunk

Colored buttons

5 clothespins

Stick-on letters that spell out “Thankful”

1 14-inch piece of ribbon

Leaf shapes cut from colored paper

Quick-dry craft glue

Scissors

Sketch out the outline of the treetop on the backside of the green or red scrapbook paper and cut out. Sketch out the outline of the tree trunk on the backside of the brown scrapbooking paper and cut out.

Glue top of tree about 2 inches above the top of the 12-by-12-inch paper. Glue brown tree trunk over tree top.

Glue buttons in random spots on the tree top.

Attach letters to spell out “Thankful” across top of card stock.

Glue clothespins to bottom of cardstock.

Glue or tape each end of the ribbon to the back of the cardstock to form a hanger. Allow craft glue to dry according to label directions.

Keep a pen and leaf shapes nearby so everyone can write down what they’re grateful for and hang it from the tree.

Note: You also can make a more durable version of this craft by using craft felt.


Finger-Stamp Place Cards

You can either have every family member make their own place card or recruit little ones to make them for all the guests.

Materials:

Cardstock (about 3 by 4 inches)

Nontoxic stamp pads in brown, red, orange and yellow

Glue

Googly eyes

Fine-line markers

For each bird, fold a piece of cardstock. Set out nontoxic stamp pads. Instruct crafters to use thumbs or index fingers to stamp rings of yellow, orange and red as well as a brown turkey body. Let dry.

Glue googly eyes in place; then use markers to draw on a beak, snood and feet. Write guest’s name below the bird.

Sources: http://familyfun.go.com and http://amazingmoms.com


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525

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