Thanksgiving Gratitude Cards with Turkeys, from Your Little Turkeys
You know what? Thank God for the internet. I don’t know how people who care for preschoolers used to get out of bed in the morning without solid plans of how to keep them occupied all day. (Yes I do: the kids jumped on their heads until they decided getting out of bed was easier than staying in. Toddler enthusiasm: life’s timeless alarm clock).
Preschool kids are tough! They require constant attention and diversion, unless you like your toilet bowl becoming a lake for your lipstick “boats,” which I’m guessing you don’t.
These days, all you need to do is pull up Pinterest or Bloglovin’, type in some random search words that contain the word “craft,” and, BOOM, you’ve got nine thousand ideas of what to do with your kids today.
As I selected ideas from this crafty little list, the first thing that struck me is the concept of gratitude accompanying Thanksgiving. Sort of makes sense, right? Making Thanksgiving Gratitude Cards with Turkeys is a great way for the little ones to do something seasonal and start to understand the concept of gratitude at the same time.
Start with the materials:
1 piece of neutral color paper per three turkeys. We used tan.
1 piece of medium or dark brown paper
googly eyes (one per turkey)
small cards (either single ply, or the foldover kind) and envelopes
dark brown marker (ignore the tan marker in the picture!)
Here are the steps. The older the kids, the more they can do on their own.
1) Trace a hand on neutral paper.
If the pinky & other fingers are spread out far, it will look more like turkey feathers (and less like a hand) when you’re done.
2) Make thumbprint “feathers” on the hand.
Specify that the thumbprints stay within the hands.
When you choose your ink pads, multiple colors are more jazzy, but if your little ones are pleased with the monochromatic look, go for it. My boys favored blue so their Thanksgiving Turkeys ended up looking more like Thanksgiving Peacocks, and why not.
If they are interested in more than one color, instruct them to wipe their fingers on a damp towel in between. Then, get over it because they’re gonna mix the colors all up. Call them “muted” and move on.
3) Encourage the kids to take turns. Encourage them again. Aaaand, again.
4) Cut the hand out.
5) Glue it onto a card.
6) Draw a little turkey (minus feathers) on the dark brown paper. (Note that it can look like a duck or even a snowman. Weirdly – and luckily for those of us who don’t draw – it doesn’t matter).
7) Cut out the little turkey.
8) Glue the little turkey onto the wrist part of the hand. The fingers will now resemble turkey tail feathers!
9) Draw the little feet so they extend past the body.
9) Glue one eye on the turkey face.
Googly eyes are cute and funny but you could also draw one on, if you happen to be out of that particular household staple.
10) Now it’s time to write the cards. If you have 87 kids, or if you just feel done with Project Hour, you can simply write “Thank you for all you do. Happy Thanksgiving!” Voila!
11) If you want to go one step further, poll your little angels for greeting card gems. Find out what they are actually thankful for.
Ask questions like: What does Aunt Betty do that makes you feel happy? Where do you like to go with Grandma? What’s your favorite thing to do at Grandpa’s house?
If they say they like when Aunt Betty reads to them, ask which book is their favorite. If Grandma plays with them, ask which game. If Grandpa makes them breakfast, ask what he makes. Get specific, if possible. It makes a wonderful, personalized card and a snapshot memory of what’s important to them right now. And it can often be quite surprising and funny.
Be sure to sign them with your kids’ names so the recipient doesn’t think you’ve suddenly developed an affection for The Cat in the Hat. I tend to credit each line to the one who said it, as I go. Then, at the bottom, end with “Love, Pooky and Tooty.”
A nice lesson here is to go ahead and buy that huge supply of colored paper and craft store bag of eyes, as well as twist-ties, foam cut-outs, whatever catches your eye. You will most likely find a use for all that stuff over the course of your kid’s childhood. My mom was a teacher so I had a supply of colored paper and pens in the hall closet my entire life. I loved having the tools to get creative with greeting cards and whatever else, at any time. Today, it sure was nice having all this stuff on hand when I happened to get inspired by the Thanksgiving crafts post. Love not having to wait! (We learned gratitude today. We’ll get to patience another day.)
The aftermath. (Safety goggles are not mandatory. Unless you are a four-year-old boy. In which case, you’ll also need a smock and a tool belt.)
To each of you reading this: THANK YOU for supporting my blog, for sharing it, commenting on it, and enjoying it. I love to share this unexpected life with you, and love to hear about yours. I appreciate you so much!