by Julie Snyder
With Thanksgiving in a few short days, you may feel like you need to run on warp speed to get everything done.
In the meantime, little ones may be also vying for attention and in need of something -- read with mom desperation "ANYTHING" -- to keep them occupied! This task will help you accomplish that goal...and provide multiple opportunities for smiles all around."
Do you remember making those turkey crafts with hand prints? Add a touch of nostalgia to your Thanksgiving preparations when your kids create homemade Thanksgiving cards the recipients can "gobble" up!"
As an added perk, you can pick off a few items on your to-do list while those little fingers work their magic.
Each of our crafts begins with a piece of card stock. Cut an 8 1/2 by 11-inch piece in half. Then, fold each piece in half so you have two cards measures 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches. They fit perfectly into invitation size envelopes. You'll find them at the craft store in the card making and scrap booking aisle.
Thanksgiving greeting cards often utilize fall colors and our can, too. Brown, oranges and yellows dominate the turkey color palette as well. These simple ideas work for any child who can point, scribble and hold a paint brush.
Have your child choose a color of card stock. Cut and glue construction paper randomly over it or encourage an enthusiastic toddler to color all over.
Bring out the cute turkey stickers. Print out or write a greeting inside and help with the signature. A thumbprint turkey might be a nice touch.
If your tot insists on a different kind of sticker, try an apple, pumpkin, scarecrow or leaf, that's okay. Friends and family will love anything and everything that comes with a proud smile.
Have your child hold a hand out with fingers straightened. Paint each finger a different color. The thumb and palm can be brown or gray. Use plenty of paint. Press the palm and fingers firmly and carefully onto a light colored piece of paper. Lift the hand carefully. Allow it to dry.
Turn it into a Thanksgiving card by trimming and gluing to the card's front. Use markers to add a bill, waddle and feet. Your child can "write" or dictate the message.
Before you clean up, paint again and use that hand print turkey to make another project like a banner or a t-shirt.
It's like magic -- especially if you're using white crayons on white. But seeing the message appear is nothing like the magic it will have when it's opened!
Start with white card stock. Using light colored crayons, draw designs and write your message. Dilute black poster paint and brush it over your card to reveal the secret message.
Set aside and allow to dry. Add a message and send it off to delight a friend or relative.
Here's an idea that's good for kids of any age. Cut out several, small, colorful paper leaves. Write or glue a thankfulness quote from your child or from others to each leaf.
On brown construction paper, with their fingers together, trace your child's hand. Fold opposite the thumb. Carefully cut around the thumb and across the top of the finger and across the bottom, leaving the palm uncut.
For a small hand print, open and glue the hands to the card. Attach the leaves. For a larger hand, attach the leaves to the inside, refold and glue onto the card.
Did your kids make cards this year? What type?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.