4 colorful Thanksgiving kids crafts to brighten up your table

A DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece in the shape of a turkey and decorated with foraged fall objects like fallen leaves and acorns sits on a table top; surrounding it are additional kid-friendly Thanksgiving crafts, such as egg carton mushroom placeholders and a gratitude table runner made from cut-out paper leaves.

For kids, Thanksgiving can feel like more of a grown-up holiday. There’s lots of serious cooking that they can’t help with. There’s football that they’re too little to play or understand. And outside of gooey pie filling—because I don’t know a single kid that eats the crust—there’s little they’ve learned to appreciate, food-wise.

That’s why our team dreamed up these Thanksgiving kids crafts. They give kids ways to feel involved in and inspired by the family’s Thanksgiving preparations and something to be proud of as everyone enjoys the meal.

 You couldn’t ask for a better entry point to Thanksgiving traditions for kids. So let’s jump in!

Inspired? Create and share by tagging @HallmarkStores.

Thanksgiving kids craft #1: Mushroom place settings  

Placeholders in the shape of mushrooms, made from paper pulp egg cartons and painted with craft paint.

Do you love reusing and repurposing materials for craft projects? Us too! For this particular Thanksgiving kids craft, we used paper pulp egg cartons. But foam egg cartons would work just as well.

What you’ll need:


To make the mushroom place settings:

  • Cut out some cups for the mushroom caps and an equal number of egg carton dividers for the mushroom stems.
  • Paint the mushroom caps, adding polka dots after the first layer of paint is dry.
  • Once the paint dries, glue the mushroom caps to the stem with Crayola craft glue or hot glue.
  • Finally, after the glue has set, write names for the place settings on each mushroom cap with a paint marker.

Thanksgiving kids craft #2: Corn on the cob party favor  

A child's hands reach into frame to hold a party favor shaped like a corn husk and filled with popcorn.

This DIY party favor is especially fun to gift to other kids coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a great way to avoid hangry meltdowns before the meal, and everyone will get a kick out of how cute they are! Best of all, your little can proudly pass them out and tell everyone they helped.

Supplies needed for the cornhusk popcorn party favor include green tissue paper, plastic zipper sandwich bags, tape, scissors, twine, and popcorn.

What you’ll need:

•  Popped corn (we’ve got some tasty popcorn recipes!)
Green tissue paper
•  Ribbon or twine
•  Tape
•  Scissors
•  Quart-size plastic bags (thinner bags work best here; thicker, freezer-type bags are harder to fold)

A child's hands scoops popcorn out of a bowl with a pink cup while a woman tapes back the bottom corners of a plastic storage baggie.

To make the party favor:

•  Fold the bottom corners of the baggie back and tape in place to create a rough funnel/triangle shape.

•  Get your little one’s help filling the plastic baggies with popcorn. Don’t overfill— this will give you space to shape it like a corncob.

•  Zip the top of the baggie and tuck the sides under the corncob shape, then tape any loose corners down.

A woman's hands cut the corners off of a piece of folded green tissue paper; nearby lies a piece of tissue paper that's been unfolded to show how the cut corners create leaf shapes.

• Accordion fold a half piece of tissue paper, making the folds about two inches wide. Cut the corners off one end to make it pointy, like a corn husk. Then repeat; you’ll two of these tissue paper sheets for each party favor you make.

•  Unfold the tissue paper sheets and cut them to fit around the bag of popcorn most of the way. (We found that cutting the sheets about four folds wide worked well.)

A woman's hands wrap pieces of green, cornhusk shaped tissue aper around plastic storage baggies filled with popcorn; nearby we see finished cornhusk popcorn party favors, a pair of scissors and a roll of twine.

•  Layer two sheets so the pointed ends are staggered from one another, then lay the baggie of popcorn on top of the layered sheets of tissue paper, with the taped-back corners of the baggie hidden in the back.

•  Gather the bottom of the tissue paper around the baggie of popcorn and tie off with twine. Fluff the tissue paper corn husks as needed.

A Thanksgiving table set with fall-themed paper plates from the Hallmark Celebrate! partyware line; surrounding the plates are a variety of kids Thanksgiving crafts, like mushroom-shaped placeholders, popcorn

Thanksgiving kids craft #3: Cardboard turkey for a foraging scavenger hunt  

A Thanksgiving centerpiece shaped like a turkey; the body and tail of the turkey are made out of cardboard and painted blue; the tail is decorated with foraged fall items like fallen leaves, dried flowers and acorns.

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey is the star of the show. But it typically doesn’t come out until the last minute. Until then, you can decorate the table with this fun fall centerpiece made from things you’ve foraged with your kids on gorgeous autumn days.

Supplies needed to make the DIY Thanksgiving turkey centerpiece include pieces of cardboard, foraged fall items like fallen leaves, dried flowers, acorns, grasses, etc., craft paint and paint brush, scissors, a pencil, a black permanent marker and craft glue.

What you’ll need:

•  Medium-size cardboard pieces (about 16” x 16”)
•  Crayola craft glue
•  Crayola craft paint
•  Crayola “Take Note” permanent marker
Scissors or craft knife
•  Pencil
•  Foraged fall objects like pinecones, leaves, dandelions, acorns, etc., that the kids have collected

How to make your foraged turkey centerpiece:

•  Draw a semicircle on one piece of cardboard; this will be the tail. On another piece of cardboard, draw a side profile of a turkey.

•  Draw a notch at the bottom of the tail, in the middle. Then draw a notch on the top of the turkey, in the middle. These will interlock and should be about the same width as the cardboard is thick.

A woman's hands paint a piece of cardboard cut into a shape that resembles the profile of a turkey; nearby is a piece of cardboard shaped like a half circle with a notch cut into it; both pieces are painted a light blue.

•  Cut out the turkey tail and profile pieces, as well as the notches.

•  Paint both sides of the tail and turkey with craft paint, then let dry.

A child's hands are pressing down on a dandelion flower to glue it to a piece of cardboard that will become the tail of a DIY turkey centerpiece; the tail is also decorated with dried leaves, flowers, small pinecones and acorns; a woman's hands are also in frame, one holding a bottle of craft glue.

•  Using craft glue and some help from little ones, glue on the collected fall items. Let the kids lead this!

•  Once the glue is dry, attach the tail to the turkey.

Thanksgiving kids craft #4: Cut-leaf gratitude table runner  

A gratitude table runner made with leaf-shaped cut-outs of wrapping paper and construction paper; written on the solid-colored pieces of construction paper are words like,

A lot of parents would agree that teaching kids about gratitude is important. This Thanksgiving kids craft gives you an opportunity to talk about the concept of gratitude with your littles, and then turn it into something tangible. It could turn into a fun prompt for everyone at the table to talk about what they’re grateful for!

What you’ll need:


How to make your cut-leaf gratitude table runner:

  • Have little ones help paint and decorate the wrapping paper with craft paint.
  • Once the paint is dry, cut out different leaf shapes from it. (Pro tip: If you’re not comfortable free-handing it, you could use a set of leaf-shaped cookie cutters to trace outlines.)
  • Cut a bunch of leaf shapes from the solid-color construction paper as well.
  • Ask your kids what they’re grateful for. If they’re having trouble coming up with things, give them simple prompts like, “What about Grandma? Are you happy Grandma loves you?”
  • Write down the people and things your child mentions on the solid-color leaves.
  • Using the glue or small pieces of double-sided tape, start sticking the edges of leaves together, leaving open spaces in between, as shown. Our table runner ended up being about four leaves wide and 12 leaves long, but you might want something wider or longer, depending on the size and shape of your table or the number of kids you have to help you make it!
  • Keep connecting the leaves, making sure that the solid-color leaves with the things your little one is grateful for are prominently displayed—layered on top or around the edges, where guests will see them.

We hope you have so much fun creating these colorful Thanksgiving kids crafts with your little ones and that they inspire lots of great conversation about what it means to be thankful.


Looking for more Thanksgiving ideas for kids? We’ve got a few here: