Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two Fall Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids! Fall Tree Tutorial & Thanksgiving Poem Bracelet Tutorial

Becca here with two fun Fall Thanksgiving themed crafts that would be great to do with your kids!  We had an extra child here the day we did these, so a 4 1/2 year old and two 7 year olds participated, and all of them enjoyed the activities, and did a great job on the finished product!  My favorite types of "arts and crafts" for the kids to do are ones that I can lead them in, but they can do entirely on their own, and put their own unique twist on it, so they don't all end up looking exactly the same.  I was inspired by this fall tree I saw on Pinterest and this Thanksgiving Poem, also found on Pinterest.  The kids really loved making the trees, complete with falling leaves and leaf piles, and creating their own design in the trunk with yarn, and I read the poem to them and had them add the beads to their bracelet as they heard me say the color in the poem, a great listening activity!  As a bonus, even really little ones can then use the bracelet to tell the main points of the story of the First Thanksgiving to others!  I think it would be a great, simple activity to bring to a Thanksgiving Meal for the children to do after they've finished eating, or while they're waiting on the big meal.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Poem Bracelet Tutorial

(all supplies are per person/bracelet)

1 pipe cleaner, any color (I used pink for the girls & blue for the boys because I had colored ones)
1 bead each:  white, blue, green, black, brown, red, yellow, orange
1 copy of the poem you can download a Word Document here

Read the poem out loud to the children, instructing them to place a bead onto their pipe cleaner when they hear its' color in the poem.  I read a second time, to have them 'check their work' and hear the poem a second time also. :)

Fall Tree Tutorial

(all supplies are per person/tree)

1 piece card stock (we used light blue)
"school glue" that dries clear (we used Elmer's that goes on sale really cheap during back to school)
several yards of brown yarn
20-30 small puzzle pieces (for a puzzle, pocket change at the thrift store, or $1 at the dollar store)
red, orange, yellow, and green paint *see note below about types of paint
a small strip of sponge (I cut a super cheap household sponge into 4 sections, see photos)

Have the child lightly sketch the outline of a tree trunk on their paper, then trace the line with glue and place a piece of yarn on top.  Then encourage them to use the yarn, either in one long strip or cut into pieces, I had children to do some of each, to cover their trunk in whatever "treeish" design they choose.  Be sure to press down lightly so the yarn sticks.

Meanwhile, prepare small plastic plates, clean empty yogurt containers, etc., with a bit of each color of paint.  It's okay if they're touching a bit, but try to keep them separate for the most part for now. 

Give each child a strip of sponge 'brush' and container of paint colors to decorate their puzzle piece "leaves" with.  Remind them that the leaves are all different colors this time of year, so dabbing the sponge 'brush' into the different colors will look nice.  The patting or 'dabbing' method works best, I also reminded the children that stirring or smearing would result in all of the colors mixing, and that would mean they would end up with all brown leaves.
  We used a cereal bag I wiped off and cut into one piece for each child as our backdrop for painting.  Wax paper would be a great alternative also, and paper would work okay, as long as you carefully removed the pieces when they're dry to avoid the paper sticking.
Let the pieces dry a few minutes, then glue them to your tree trunk.  I encouraged the kids to lay them out first, before gluing, to get an idea of how they wanted them to look.  Don't forget to have a few falling leaves, and some on the ground also!
Find somewhere to display your beautiful, creative & original, Fall Art!  I love how each one turned out a bit differently, based on each child's imagination!  Enjoy!

*We've had this Crayola set of paints for a long time, good sized bottles & it's very washable and inexpensive, easily under $5 for the set of 10 on sale or with a coupon, and they last a long time.  I also like the really cheap bottles of acrylic paint you can pick up at most craft & supercenter type stores and let the kids use them also, especially on canvas or for something more permanent we're going to hang on the walls & keep, although they aren't as washable.

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