Gratitude Turkey Placemat
I had a blast thinking up and creating this "Gratitude Turkey Placemat Craft" with some sweet kid friends who came to visit me last week. This past month, I was brainstorming how I could help a child learn to understand gratitude with a hands on activity because children learn best by creating something that utilizes all of their senses, especially the sense of touch. The hand crafted Gratitude Turkey Placemat was the idea that popped into my head! 🙂
The idea for this craft is to have a placemat setting for each person who will be sitting at the Thanksgiving table. I thought it would be special to have a kid crafted placemat with a picture or with words saying why that person is appreciated.
Crafting the Gratitude Turkey
The first thing that I did was talk with the child about who she was thankful for in her life. I wrote down four words the child expressed regarding gratitude for that person. The young girl that was helping me with this craft choose her mother and picked these four words - sweet, love, nice, and good. Next we traced a hand print and cut it out. We cut out several pointed feathers, a small gobble, a beak, and two bird feet. We glued it all together to make this adorable little turkey. And lastly, the young girl wrote her four words of gratitude on the fingers.
Craft Materials for the Gratitude Turkey Placemat
These materials will make one placemat:
1. Four-five Pieces of Square Craft Paper in Light Brown, Dark Brown, Yellow, Orange, and Tan
2. Flat Autumn Stickers
3. Long Autumn Napkins
4. A Set of Silverware and Small Plate for Tracing
5. Brown or Black Magic Marker
6. Glue, Scissors, and Pencil
To make the placemat, I took two pieces of square craft paper and glued them together to make the appropriate placemat size. You can see in the picture above that the lighter brown paper is overlapping the dark brown paper. Then I took a set of silverware and traced the silverware onto the yellow paper with a pencil. I also traced a small round plate onto the tan paper. After that I cut each piece out and glued it onto the placemat setting. I cut a long autumn napkin in half and glued that onto the placemat as well. And I decorated it with flat Autumn stickers. The flatter everything on the placemat is, the better it will laminate. I took my finished placemat to an office store and it cost around $2 to have one placemat laminated.
Gratitude Craft for All Ages of Children
I wanted this to be a craft that could be enjoyed by all ages of children. Your child may not be developmentally able to write out words of gratitude, however your child may be able to draw what they are thankful for. One of the little girls who visited with me drew this beautiful picture of her family. There are even two pet chickens that she added into the drawing! She expressed thankfulness for her family and this was her way of saying thanks by drawing her family.
For a toddler, the parent can help them collect leaves to glue onto the plate or draw a pretty tot drawing with crayons onto the plate setting. An older child can actually write a note of gratitude to each person they are thankful for.
Another way you can incorporate a toddler into this fun craft, is to trace their hand. The little hand below is Little Bee's hand. I cut out his traced hand print and made a Gratitude Turkey for Daddy. I wrote words of gratitude around the edge of the plate for the things that we love about Daddy. I know Daddy will treasure that small hand print. This would also be a heartwarming gift for the Grandparents at Thanksgiving time.