I have a confession to make: sometimes I cry when I go into AC Moore. Wanna know why? Because I miss my kids. Don’t laugh. Sometimes I do. I am well aware that homeschooling them in the middle of Kansas surrounded by nothing but acres of farmland might not be the best situation for us (if for no reason other than I don’t really care for animals all that much and I have a physical need to be by family), but there are times when I just wish they were home with me more. I think around ages 3 & 4 were the easiest, most creative times with them. They both went to the same pre-school 3 days a week. Thursday was always “Pajama Day”. We came up with tons of craft projects and little daily outings a few times a week. And this was always my favorite time of year because we always had lots of holiday crafts to keep us busy. Fast-forward a few years and now they are out of the house Monday – Friday from the ridiculous hours of 9am-4pm. Pair that with an extracurricular activity or two per kid and it doesn’t leave much time for finger-painting and glittering up some projects with Mom. So yes, sometimes I walk through AC Moore and I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness because I miss my little kids.
All of that said, I have found one way to make this all a little bit better and she comes disguised under a mess of shaggy hair. She goes by the name of Grace or as she’ll tell you, “Grace En-nor” (Grace Elinor). Grace may be a little young but (spoken like a true Mom), she’s crazy-smart. Doing crafts with her has been a breeze. Wednesday we decided to sit for an hour or two and make turkey projects. She keeps showing them off to everyone that walks in and has asked daily since to work on more.
I used to love keeping my kids’ projects on my old Blog and in FlickR albums to help inspire others. So here is a nice little assortment of easy, kid-friendly crafts that you can get done in time for turkey day! And if you like these, we’ll have tons more come Christmas. We’re big Christmas crafters.
TURKEY WITH FRUIT LOOPS
YOU NEED: some sort of large turkey outline to print (check here), a thick popsicle stick, glue and Fruit Loops. Grace made this one in school this week. Please take note of the two missing Loops that she came home and ate, glue and all. Hey look at that: this doubles as a craft and a snack all rolled in one (preferably snack occurs before the glue comes out).
YOU NEED: a clay flowerpot, black and white paint (we glittered the white with glitter dust) and yellow felt. Grace painted the black & I did the white. Cut a yellow belt buckle and glue it on. This would make a cute table setting to let everyone know where they sit at the Thanksgiving table.
YOU NEED: brown paint, white cardstock, one googly eye, feathers, buttons, pompoms, etc (something to create the feathers). Paint kiddo’s hand with paint. Have them create a stamp of their hand on plain paper (you can leave it as-is or cut it out after). Add an eye, paper beak, legs and gobble (all made from colored paper). Decorate the feather area as we did. The handprint turkey pictured is Emily’s from 2008. Andrew made the same one that year. Grace made 4 prints the other day which we still need to cut-out and transform into turkeys! (If projects are simple to create, we always make a bunch and keep some on-hand to give away as gifts).
Middle row, L-R:
STRAW HAT TURKEY
YOU NEED: straw hat, yellow & orange felt, red and brown pipe cleaners, googly eyes, feathers, yarn for hanging. Emily made this cute turkey decoration during her first year of Daisys. You paint the top part of the hat orange. Cut out a long face & neck shape from yellow felt. Cut feet. Add legs with brown pipe cleaners and a gobble with red. Add beak & eyes. Scatter on feathers. Attach yarn for hanging.
YOU NEED: white cardstock, assorted Fall-colored paints. This is my new favorite project and one that’s getting framed and hung in the living room (thanks to my friend Susie for linking me to this cute site the other day). The brown trunk is Grace’s arm (you can see her hand attached under all of the green leaves). We then washed off her hand and did a few assorted green, yellow and orange prints to form bunches of leaves. The fallen leaves at the bottom are her pointer finger prints. I wanted to have all of the kids’ help since I planned on framing this so later that day, Emily and Andrew each added one of the larger green handprints. Framed, this would make an adorable grandparent gift.
YOU NEED: empty toilet paper roll*, orange, brown and red cardstock, googly eyes, a pretty patterned scrapbook paper. The kids and I made a collection of these cute turkeys a few years ago and gave some away to family. We didn’t use toilet paper rolls. Instead, we just cut-down, rolled and taped brown cardstock to form a neat little tube. Fold your scrapbook paper in thin pleats, stick in the tube to form the feathers and glue to secure. Add eyes, beak, gobble and legs. Use brown cardstock to cut wings.
Bottom row, L-R:
YOU NEED: wooden spoon*, brown paint, feathers, cork, googly eyes, orange felt for beak. Technically ours is not a spoon but a wooden heart that I had leftover from Valentine’s Day. Grace made this one the other day with me but we’ve done the spoon in the past. She painted the heart brown and then the cork. Glue the cork on. Glue eyes and beak on. Glue feathers on back.
YOU NEED: old gloves (not mittens), felt, large googly eye. We made these last year and they turned out really cute. Andrew used a Batman glove and Emily made the smaller striped one. Cut feather shapes from felt and glue one on each finger. Make sure you put some crumpled up tin foil (or even waxed paper) in each finger of the glove before gluing or else you will glue your fingers shut! Add your eye, gobble and beak. You can use these as hand puppets!
YOU NEED: a kit. Grace made this guy out of one of those cheapie foam kits from the craft store. She screams every time she sees him because she thinks his skinny, dangling legs are hysterical. Check your craft store in the seasonal craft department for lots of cute, cheap and EASY foam and small clay pot projects.
Happy crafting and have a lovely weekend!