November 21, 2014

Little hands can get mighty bored while the finishing touches are being put on turkey and dressing. Keep them entertained, maintain sanity, and produce a few fun memories in the process with these fun Turkey Day activities.

1. Modern-Twist Mark-Mat. Let wee artists explore their creative side with these food-grade, hand silk-screened silicone placemats ($18-28). Placemats are entirely reusable--just wash off the marker after each use and stow them away until the next time you need a tabletop distraction.

2. Place Card Crafts. Help get everyone to their seat with adorable turkey place cards from Real Simple. Print, color, cut, and tape a tiny bird for everyone at your dinner table.

3. Create a Thankfulness Wreath. Before Thanksgiving, buy an inexpensive wreath from a dollar store. Wrap it in festive fabric. Cut leafs or fun shapes from sturdy construction paper. Have the kids ask dinner guests what they're thankful for this year, and then help them write it on the paper. Pin the paper to the wreath and create a beautiful centerpiece for the table that helps everyone remember why they've gathered to celebrate.

If you don't have time for a wreath (or forget to pick one up), use wrapping paper and make a table runner. (Flip it over to the white side if the decorative side isn't seasonally appropriate.) Let the kids tape or glue the thankfulness papers to the runner, and you've got your own custom table decoration.

4. Put on a Puppet Show. Channel inner thespians into a fun Turkey Day puppet show. You can make DIY puppets out of socks or brown paper bags. Stationery and craft stores have puppet kits that make the process much easier, like the Turkey Puppet Kit from Paper Source ($16). Pre-made puppets like the adorable felt finger puppets from A2FeltSewFine on Etsy are fun, too. After the dishes have been put away, let the show begin.

5. Fall Frame. Before Thanksgiving arrives, buy or make picture frames from sturdy cardstock or thin wood. Paint them a festive fall color, like orange or gold. When the kids arrive for the feast, take them outdoors to let off some energy and collect the most beautiful leaves they can find. Help them glue the leaves to their frame, and let it dry while everyone dines. After the meal, they've got a fun frame for a (hint, hint) picture they take with their oh-so-very-thankful family.

You May Like