The hours are counting down until your guests start ringing the bell. Turkey Day is here and you need Thanksgiving decor for the table that says more than, “I totally forgot, and waited ’til the last moment.” Let your creative kiddos take the lead. They’re home from school, kind of bored and totally ready to get their craft on. So forget about those generic-looking store-bought turkeys in Pilgrim hats and check out these DIY kids’ table topper crafts.

Add some sparkle to the Thanksgiving table with this easy kids craft! Grab a few gourds or small-sized pumpkins and let the kiddos paint them with glue. To make this glitter-iffic art activity even better, let the ooey, gooey glue drip down the sides of the gourds/pumpkins. Sprinkle sparkles on top, shake off the excess and let the table top displays dry before adding them as creatively cool centerpieces. The best part is, you can completely customize this for any Thanksgiving table. Choose glitter colors that match your place settings to create a cohesive look.

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Pine Cone Pumpkins

Sure, a basket of random gourds makes for a rustically chic centerpiece. But stacking pumpkins on top of various forms of squash isn't always the most creative way for your kiddo to spend Thanksgiving day. Instead, make your own with this pumpkin craft from Fireflies and Mud Pies!

Play After Dinner

Sometimes sitting at the dinner table and patiently waiting for the grown-ups to finish just isn't fun for your tot. Scratch that, it's never fun for your tot. Well this turkey-shaped fluffy slime idea from Little Bins for Little Hands solves the, "Mommmmmmy, I'm sooooo bored" problem. Package this rad recipe into a cute little see-through cup to create cute holiday decor. As the kids finish eating, they can take the slime out and play with it—giving you time to actually eat your meal!

photo: Erica Loop

Thankful Tree

What is your family thankful for? Instead of waiting until dinner to ponder this question, start early in the day (heck, start the day before). Give each family member a leaf to write what they're thankful for on. You can either have the kiddos craft paper leaves from fall-colored card stock or go with the real deal. Get extra-crafty and ask the kids to paint their leaves with temperas before adding what they're thankful for in marker. Gather a few sticks, push them into a foam base or secure them in a tall vase. Before the meal starts, collect the thankful leaves. Punch holes in the top and thread yard through them. During the holiday meal each family member/guest can read what they're thankful for and hang the leaves on the "tree." 

Recycled Rings

Recycle and reuse those paper towel roll cardboard tubey things that you have just hanging around. Cut them into pieces and let the kids get to work painting them into cute little napkin rings. Oh, and that’s not all. Mini Monets and Mommies can show you other ways to transform cardboard into Thanksgiving table décor.

Handprint Happiness

Your kiddo can give the holiday décor a hand—literally. These hand-traced turkeys make cute cards, perfect place labels or creative centerpieces. Get the scoop on how-to make these too-sweet turkeys from My Paper Crane.

Popsicle Pals

Yeah, the kids are all about popsicles. Even in November. So put those sticks to use for this adorable table-top craft from The Nerd’s Wife. This recycle and reuse art activity is just as Earth-friendly as it is adorable!

Printable Placemats

The kids can create crafty placemats that show exactly what they’re thankful for. Mama Papa Bubba’s printable design provides plenty of opportunity for thinking about the holiday while getting creative and coloring.

Top Turkeys

The kids need something to do at the Thanksgiving table. Of course, other than eat the fab feast that you’ve spent the day preparing. Cut out some craft felt shapes (you’ll need circles and ovals), add a few googley eyes and let the kids go to town, pressing together craft felt turkey table toppers. They can puzzle together this project at the table or make them beforehand as place cards.

photo: Nikki Walsh

Gobble Gobble Tablecloth

Your grandma’s hand-sewn lace tablecloth is gorgeous. Just not with gravy and cranberry sauce on it. Pull double duty, protecting the table and entertaining the kids with this turkey-time tablecloth. Spread out butcher paper, draw a few gobble gobblers and let the kids get crafty with their crayons during dinner.

Playful Pumpkins

Who says pumpkins are just for Halloween? Turkey up your mini pumpkins with this idea from Toddler Approved. Table perk: perfect place holders for the kiddos! Cluck here for full instructions.

Gratitude With Craft-itude

What is your child thankful for? Learning about gratitude is kind of the name of the game on Thanksgiving Day. And your child thought the holiday was all about turkey and stuffing. Things are about to change with this crafty laminated placemat from Momtastic. It’s much more than simple holiday décor — it’s a thoughtful activity that will help the kids to think about why they should give thanks today!

Gorgeous Gourds

You need a Thanksgiving table centerpiece. So you pile on the gourds to add that decorative touch. But wait. Why not let the kids get creative and dress-up those plain ol’ gourds? Design Improvised can show you how to turn gourds into adorable little turkeys.

Pretty Placemat

A hand-drawn placemat takes the cake (okay, maybe the pumpkin pie) when it comes to your Thanksgiving table décor. Say Yes can show you how to make an oh-so-elegant display that includes completely kid-made mats too!

— Erica Loop

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Feature photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Kids' Table Decor You Can Pull Off at the Last Minute