Thanksgiving is the second in a series of holidays, which makes the fall and winter season a magical time for children. Why not add to the magic by introducing some crafts and enjoyable creative activities to the occasion? Artist, musician and manager of children’s craft center Abrakadoodle, Pat Lakatta gives some fun and creative suggestions to spice up the turkey holiday.
9606 Deereco Road
Timonium, MD 21093
Songwriter/singer Pat Lakatta’s diverse career spans more than 25 years. She has worked with children, parents and teachers giving interactive workshops and teaching music classes, and has received awards for film, video and print production. Pat has received a Parent’s Choice Award (2000,) a MD State Arts Council Award (2001) for her children’s music CD “Everybody’s Got a Place” and was awarded a fellowship from Young Audiences for Music Composition. Her children’s music is published by Piano Press. She has composed a variety of musical styles that are represented in Baltimore Songwriters’ Association CD collections. An R.N., Pat holds an undergraduate degree in music and communications from Goucher College and a graduate degree in marketing from The Johns Hopkins University. She owns and manages Abrakadoodle Art Education in Baltimore, Md.
Go for a fall walk with a child or children. Make sure to take a bag to collect and store fall leaves, acorns, pine cones, corn husks and other interesting signs of fall that may be on the ground. Using large paper plates (orange if available) cut out the center so that a wreath shape remains. Children will then glue their special leaves, acorns, pine cones, etc. to the paper-plate ring (or wreath). After adding the decorations, then add rich and warm fall-colored beads, gemstones and glitter if desired.
Model Magic Turkeys
Using Crayola yellow, brown or orange model magic, you and your child or children can roll two balls in your hands. Make a larger one for the body and make a smaller one for the head. After this is done, put the smaller ball on top of the larger and stick them together. Add two googly eyes to the head and press or glue them into place. Cut a triangular beak from orange construction paper and place it between the eyes. Finally, decorate the whole body with feathers. You may purchase feathers at craft shops, or make your own out of brown construction paper.
Your Model Magic Turkeys can be used as place card holders or as part of a table centerpiece. They can also be used to decorate napkin rings.
Thanksgiving Table Scape
You and the children can start the Table Scape by making your own corn on the cob. Find some bubble wrap and some yellow paper. Print the bubble wrap on top of the yellow paper for an authentic corn on the cob pattern. Once this is done, make leaves using a leaf template from color construction paper or painting heavy white paper. You could also gather your own leaves from the beautiful autumn outdoors. Finally, add your Model Magic Turkeys (see previous tip), your acorns and your pine cones.
Mini Holiday Food
Using Crayola Model Magic once again, create mini holiday food to decorate napkin rings. Purchase colors like orange, yellow, green, purple and brown. Then press and mold out all of the contents of a classic cornucopia – things like yellow corn on the cob, green squash, orange pumpkins, purple or green grapes and all of the many different colored leaves. You may attach these to napkin rings you already have, or make your own temporary napkin rings by cutting a cardboard tube into sections and pressing or gluing your Model Magic harvest to your newly made napkin ring.
Make a tree template out of cardboard. Create a base for the tree from brown Model Magic. Have the child or children press their palm into different colored finger paints using fall colors. Then have them make many-colored handprints on white paper. Cut out the hand shapes and glue them to the branches and base of the cardboard tree for hand-made fall leaves. This can be used as a stand-alone decoration or as part of a table scape.
Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.