You know how the Thanksgiving feast magically appears and the children have been quietly entertaining themselves for the past 4 hours, and everything is beautiful, perfect, and lovely?
Oh. Wait. That's not what happens. The meal always takes longer to prepare than you think it will, kids are starving and cranky because they're off their eating schedule, and there's the 5 last minute trips to the grocery.
I can't help you with much, but I can help with the kids. Last year before the Thanksgiving meal, by some miraculous fluke, Miriam asked Amy if she could have the package of pipe cleaners in the attic. Suddenly, it was all work in the kitchen. No kids screaming. Just bracelets and crowns. Necklaces and badges. They were happy. They were doing a novel, no parent needed craft. Hallelujah!
I want this for you. If you are hosting Thanksgiving, you deserve this hour or two of quiet. All these crafts are great with an adult or older child to help. Most of the items needed can be found at the dollar store or a craft store for sure.
The pipe cleaners, by themselves, are pretty fun. Add some beads, and they're magical. Letter beads, and you've even got educational. Have the kids make napkin rings with everyone's name. A necklace that's also a love note for mom or dad or favorite cousin.
Use this site to make cornhusk dolls. If you have fresh corn this week, save the husks. If not, just get tamale wrappers. They work great. Twine or raffia works well to tie.
And don't forget the turkey. Two circles on a cardboard background and feathers from the dollar store. Placemats, perhaps?