Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Craft Idea

This craft is something that began with an idea that my grandmother in New Hampshire used to put out each year at Thanksgiving. She would always make up little cups filled with candies and nuts and each person would have their own to pick on either while waiting for dinner to be served, or later in the day. My aunt continued the tradition when she took over hosting Thanksgiving, and I always thought it was a nice idea.

This year, I decided to take that idea and make it into a little craft that would help keep my girl busy while I was doing last minute prep work for our company! We took plastic cups (left over from a birthday party) and we drew "feathers" on colored construction paper and cut those out. Now, the paper is colored, but my girl wanted to add her own flair, so she also colored her own feathers. We gathered a few of the colored feathers together and taped them on the outside of the cups on one side, so that they looked like turkey feathers. Then we took one red "feather" and folded that in half, and taped it to the outside of the opposite side of the cup from the tail. I drew on little eyes to look like a turkey face. Then my girl wrote out each one of our names on a cup and we filled them with goodies that everyone likes -- M&M's (regular and peanut butter), Hershey's Kisses, candy corn, pecans, raisins, etc. We also did "special orders" -- for example, my brother-in-law is not a big nut fan, but he does like peanuts, so we replaced his pecans with peanuts. And since the 2 littlest girls were too little for us to give nuts and candy to, my sweet girl suggested that we make their cups with Goldfish crackers, Cheerios, and Gerber Puffs.
We had a good time making these and everyone enjoyed them. This is a very versatile craft - you can either make paper feathers, or use real craft feathers if you have them, or another cute idea is to trace your child's hands on construction paper and put 2 of their hands together to make the turkey's tail feather. Another fun thing would be to use googly eyes instead of drawing the eyes on -- always popular with kids!

This can also be adapted for other holidays or occasions. Try tracing your child's hands on brown paper (construction, paper grocery bag, lunch bags...) and tape 2, slightly separated, on one side of the cup, and then cut out a brown diamond shape, fold that in half and tape it to the front of the cup (similar to the picture above with the red turkey face). Put eyes on that and glue a red paper circle or even a red pom-pom on the tip (below the eyes) and voila, you have a Rudolph cup! I'll have to try this one at Christmas and I'll post a picture to show you how it turned out.

You could even take this idea and use it as an alternative to goodie bags at your child's birthday party or a craft that the kids make at a party -- everyone makes their own cup and then they fill it with their favorite goodies.

Use your imagination (and your child's) and you can come up with all sorts of ideas for this fun and inexpensive craft -- enjoy!

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