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Making Thanksgiving Decorations with Your Children

Excitement runs through the house in the days before Thanksgiving as kids eagerly anticipate the feast with cousins, grandparents, and other relatives. Some of that enthusiasm can be channeled into making Thanksgiving decorations, which will add an extra layer of beauty and charm to your home on that special day.

  1. Have a banner day: Make a colorful banner to welcome your guests. Decide on a phrase like “Give Thanks” or “Happy Turkey Day” and draw each letter on a single sheet of 8.5 X 11 colored paper. (This can also be done using a computer, a printer, and fancy clip-art letters from the internet.) Use a hole punch to make holes in the sides of each sheet and tie them together with short pieces of ribbon. Punch holes in the top of each sheet and use the ribbon to attach the words to a 9- to 15-foot rope and hang it across a wall. 
  2. Places please: Place cards add color and order to the table and can be made in a variety of ways. Get some cardstock in T-Day colors like brown, orange, and yellow. Cut one 4” X 5” card for each guest. Kids can draw turkeys, the Mayflower, Indian corn, or other Thanksgiving icons on the cards along with each guest’s name. Buttons, fabric, modeling clay, and colorful fall leaves can be used to make 3D T-Day decorations. 
  3. Pumpkin painting: Pumpkins are still available around Thanksgiving for those who make pumpkin pie from scratch. Decorate the pumpkin using a pattern of dots and rectangles cut from masking tape. Paint the entire surface with acrylic paint and let it dry. Remove the stickers and you’ll have the coolest looking pumpkin in the neighborhood. 
  4. Turn the table: If you’re having a special “kids’ table” cover it with white craft paper instead of a tablecloth. Before the food is served, provide the kids with string, beads, crayons, stamp pads, and stickers and let them decorate their own table. 
  5. Hand it to the turkey: Hand turkeys are an oldie but a goodie, because they’re still a lot of fun. Have guests trace the outline of their hands on sheets of paper. Provide crayons and colored pencils so they can fill in the outline to look like a turkey.

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