• Create Pilgrim hats as table decorations. For the crowns, use black 9 oz paper cups. Cut 6″ circles of black cardboard for the brims and gold or yellow “buckles” made from cardstock paper. Assemble with tape, glue or sticky pads.
• Make feather Native American headdress napkin rings to add glorious fall color to your table. Cut toilet paper tubes into 1 ½” wide rings. Paint designs in festive fall colors on the “rings”. Add construction paper or real feathers. Allow each child to make a set for his/her family if time permits.
• Create personalized Thanksgiving placemats. They can be used at the party and then sent home for Thanksgiving dinner. Use tissue leaves or leaves cut from construction paper. Give each child 8-10 leaves, and have them write one thing that they are thankful for on each leaf. Glue the leaves to a 12″ x 18″ piece of paper and laminate. Clear contact paper also works well for the purpose of “laminating”.
• Make pinecone turkeys. Add colorful feathers, wiggly eyes, and cut and bend pipe cleaners for the beak, wattle, and feet.
• Use uncooked popcorn to create beautiful fall mosaics. The popcorn can be painted after the glue dries if desired.
• Create “Thankful for You Because…” bags. Depending on the age of the children, you may want to do some or all of the pre-assembly (especially if you are using hot glue), or break up the assembly into stages before the day of the party. You’ll need:
- • Brown paper lunch sacks
• Green paint pen
• Tissue Leaves in autumn colors
• Plenty of small pieces of paper (approx. 3″ x 4″ size)
Cut the top of each sack in a decorative manner (use pinking shears, or regular scissors to trim the size, and give the bag a little character). Glue one autumn leaf to the center of each bag at an angle. Tie raffia into little bows, and glue one to the base of each leaf. Write the name of each child on the bags (one name per bag) with the green paint pen. Place small pieces of paper in a basket along with pens and markers. Have each person write a note or draw a picture (little ones) of why they are thankful for each person. Drop notes into bags. Allow time during the party for the children to read their notes…a great self-esteem building activity.
• For Pilgrim place cards you’ll need:
• Black paint pen
• Wooden clothespin
• Black pipe cleaners
• Bottle cap
• Construction paper
Use fine-tip colored markers to draw faces on the “head” of each clothespin. Color the rest of the clothespin black. Just below the head, wrap a black pipe cleaner around the neck, to create the arms. Wrap another pipe cleaner around the “feet”, to make the Pilgrim stand up in the bottle cap. Glue on a black construction paper hat (complete with yellow buckle), and a white paper vest. Cut nametags from white or yellow construction paper, and attach to the pilgrim’s arms. They look really cute with the nametag held above the pilgrim’s head.
• Mayflower place cards will require:
• Terra cotta colored Sculpey® modeling compound
• White 9” paper plates
Mold clay into boats similar in shape to the Mayflower. good-sized wedge-shaped sails out of the edges of the plates. Write each child’s name on one of the sails. Poke two holes in the center of each sail (vertically), and use the toothpick as the mast. Boats should be approximately 4-5″ in length when completed.