The following post was written by contributor Rae Grant and originally appeared November 2010.
With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, home is a busy place. Thanksgiving Day is always a good time to offer kids a craft focus and it is the perfect opportunity to make new traditions.
Over the years, we have made pinecone turkeys, turkey handprints, wreaths, and nature centerpieces for the children’s table. I’ve found it is always a good idea to have a simple, seasonal craft project in mind when you have a group of kids for a holiday. It brings them together and adds an element of tradition to the festivities. It will also give them things to remember years later.
I recall one Thanksgiving when my brother was dive-bombing his small green plastic toy soldier directly into the mashed potatoes and gravy on his plate. No adults were watching and we kids were highly amused. We should have been crafting!
This year, I’ve decided to do something a little different to keep the kids busy on Thanksgiving Day. After watching all the lovely changes in the leaves, making hand-cut sugar cookies in the shape of an autumn leaf seems like the perfect ending to a beautiful season.
Like free-form cutting with play dough, kids can cut artistic leaf shapes from sugar cookie dough using a metal or plastic butter knife. They may not look “perfect” like a cookie cutter type, but hey, they are “homemade”. I recommend rolling and baking the cookies the day before so that the craft on Thanksgiving Day is about cookie painting.
We’ll use the cookie and frosting recipe from my book Homemade Fun, but any favorite sugar cookie recipe and butter frosting will work too.
When the cookies have cooled, have the kids try their hand at painting a Thanksgiving message on the cookie using colored frosting and paintbrushes. Imagine a plate of cookies adorned with simple words like “play, eat, love, hug, tree, sky, wind.”
After dinner, we plan to pass around the cookie plate and ask each person to read or say their word of thanks. This communal act reminds us all of the simple joys we have in our lucky lives. Eating the cookie is the other additional benefit!
Leaves, colors, sunshine, family…. Happy Thanksgiving!
What are some simple words that you and your family might be thankful for this year?