5 thanksgiving crafts for preschoolers

Turkey time is just around the corner, and the Thanksgiving holiday offers educators a great opportunity to not only create fun Thanksgiving crafts for preschoolers in their classroom but also talk about the meaning behind the occasion.

Tis the season for themed crafts!

This time of year is perfect for focusing on thankfulness and expressing gratitude for the wonderful things we have in our lives. It is the time of year to come together with family and friends, celebrating all we’re privileged to have.

We’ve gathered some of our favorite seasonal crafts and lesson ideas to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday at your center! These five Thanksgiving crafts for preschoolers will help you start a discussion about Thanksgiving and what it means to be thankful.

Create a classroom tree

Create a large tree trunk shape on a classroom door, window, or chalkboard with the title “I’m thankful for…” Next, have each child trace their hand on autumn-colored construction paper and carefully cut it out. Ask them to write what they are most thankful for on the handprint, and affix each “leaf” to your tree. As you attach each preschooler’s leaf to the tree, take a moment to discuss what they are thankful for and why it is important to them.

Handprint turkey

One of the most traditional Thanksgiving crafts for preschoolers involves paint, a child’s palm print, and a little bit of messiness! Preschoolers love finger painting, so this craft is sure to be a big hit. Paint the palm and thumb of the child’s hand with brown paint to form the turkey’s head, neck, and body. Paint the remaining four fingers with colorful paint to form the feathers. Let the child make their handprint on a piece of paper and let it dry. Later, get creative and add googly eyes, a beak, waddle, and feet to the turkey using the materials of your choice.

Turkey craft

Shape learning turkey

Combine teaching shapes and creativity in this fun Thanksgiving craft for preschoolers! Using various colors of construction paper, cut out hearts, ovals, circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares in multiple shapes and sizes. Ask children to use these pre-cut shapes to assemble their very own turkey, gluing each shape down to a piece of paper. Preschoolers can practice identifying each different shape by name as they select it to become part of their turkey.

Pumpkin stamping

Your class can create beautiful Thanksgiving-inspired works of art by transforming a mini pumpkin into a stamp! Prepare for this activity by cutting mini pumpkins or gourds in half and removing any seeds inside. Spread fall-colored paints on a paper plate, then allow children to use the pumpkin as a stamp to pick up paint and press it onto their paper to create colorful prints.

Pumpkin patch

Nature turkey craft

Embark on a fall nature walk with your class to discover and collect natural materials such as pinecones, twigs, leaves, pebbles, bark, acorns, and more. You may also want to incorporate dried beans and seeds from the kitchen for more variety. These items can then be used to create a “wild” turkey by arranging and gluing them to a piece of poster board. Use larger items like leaves and twigs to form the turkey’s tail, and arrange smaller items to create the body and head of the bird. Let preschoolers use their imagination and work with these natural materials to create their very own interpretation of a Thanksgiving turkey.

Child with fall leaves

Want more themed craft ideas for your classroom? Check out the Preschool Activities section of the HiMama website for some fun options.