Ask A Sacramento Expert: Thanksgiving Crafts For Kids

Ask A Sacramento Expert: Thanksgiving Crafts For Kids
Donna Sangwin is Founder and Executive Director of ReCreate, a nonprofit organization that works with local businesses to divert clean usable waste to help make art more accessible to everyone in the region by making these diverted items available at very low prices. Annually, 15,000 students are visited with ReCreate’s school education program called More Art, Less Waste. ReCreate also offers scout programs, preschool programs, birthdays, classes, camps and open art studio on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Here you will find five crafts for the children to do at Thanksgiving that she has shared.
Donna Sangwin
8417 Washington Blvd. #135
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 749-3717

When Donna’s children were smaller and about to enter school – all of the arts were being cut due to budgetary constraints. A friend told her about a Creative Reuse Center in North Carolina, and she thought the idea was brilliant.

She said, “I like that we can help businesses be less wasteful and help make art more accessible for everyone. Art shouldn’t only be for people who can afford to buy fancy art kits.” This is Donna’s seventh year of ReCreate.

Pumpkins of Thanks Centerpiece

Did you buy extra pumpkins to have around the house as décor for Halloween? If you can round up six or eight similar-sized ones, you can draw a letter on each one to say “Thanks” or “Thankful.”  While you can make this fancy with vinyl letters, you can also ask a child who is just learning to write to make the letters. You might need to fatten up their writing by going over it with a permanent pen, but it would make a beautiful centerpiece or focal point for the mantle.

Thankful Tree

Make a Thankful Tree – go out and grab a few long twigs when you cut back a tree. Put the twigs in a vase, and tie some raffia or a burlap bow around the vase. Go into your arts and crafts stash, and make a bunch of similar-sized tags. Tie a ribbon on each tag. Place them in a shallow bowl next to the tree, and invite your Thanksgiving guests to write things they are thankful for on the tags, and hang them on the Thankful Tree.

Thanksgiving Craft Off

Need a way to keep the kids out of the kitchen while you are preparing Thanksgiving? Grab an empty shopping bag, and as you come across trash the week before Thanksgiving that is interesting, toss it into the bag. Types of items to save would be bottle caps, corks, paper towel cardboard cores, junk mail, random items that need to be tossed from the junk drawer, etc. Let the kids know there will be a craft competition. Set them at an empty table with glue dots, glue sticks, scissors and markers. Let the kids choose the items they want by each selecting one at time until there are no items left. Then let them create. If you want to bump it up a notch – give them a theme. The winner can get an extra big piece of Thanksgiving dessert.

Related: Kid-Friendly Crafts For Thanksgiving

Finger Paint Turkey Place Cards

Grab a few pieces of cardstock paper and some fall color stamp pads. Cut paper to the size you would like your place cards. Have the kids use their fingerprints to make a turkey.  Add details with a pen, and your Thanksgiving table just got adorable place card settings.

Nature Centerpiece

Send the kids into the backyard to find some fall leaves, acorns and other items in nature. Give your child a piece of cardstock, glue and a glue stick. Have them adhere those pieces to the paper to make a nature collage centerpiece (like a turkey, a pilgrim hat, a pumpkin or whatever they can think of).

Related: Unique DIY Centerpieces For Your Thanksgiving Feast

Deb Ling is a freelance writer covering all things Sacramento. Her work can be found on