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With the holidays on the horizon, getting your home ready for the annual onslaught of company can seem a little daunting – especially if you have kids to keep busy as well. One way to channel their energy is to make them part of the preparations, and there's nothing like a fun craft project to capture their imaginations. The possibilities are endless, but the project featured here gets the kids outdoors, uses easily found recycled items and, yes, can be used as a centerpiece.

Turkey in the Trees

Thanksgiving crafts Paper and Leaves

Step 1: Gather paper towel tubes (for trees) , kid-safe scissors, craft glue and construction paper in fall colors (reds, yellwos, oranges and browns)

Step 2: If it's chilly outside, make sure the kids are wearing coats, boots & gloves because this step requires a trip outdoors. Have each child bring along a basket and gather leaves of different colors. Be sure to get enough to form the "tree."

Thanksgiving Crafts Tree

Step 3: Place all your supplies on a kid-friendly, glue-safe surface and begin by helping your child cut strips in the bottom and top of two tubes. These will the trees with roots and branches.

Thanksgiving Crafts Paper

Step 4: Cut one paper towel tube into thirds. Each third will be a turkey body. Alternatively, use toilet paper rolls! Stack several colors of construction paper together and trace the shape of the turkey feathers. Cut these out, along with feet, a gobbler and a nose.

Thanksgiving Crafts Tree

Step 5: Ready to start gluing? Splay out the tree branches and roots. Work around the branches with the leaves, gluing a few leaves to each branch. Be sure the branches are thick enough to hold the weight of the real leaves! If they get too heavy, simply add tape for reinforcement.

Thanksgiving Crafts Turkey

Step 6: Glue the turkey's beak, feet and gobbler to the toilet paper roll. Fan out the "feathers" and glue to the back. Draw or paint big eyes on each turkey. For added fun, ask your children to write one thing they're thankful for on each feather before gluing.

Thanksgiving Crafts Trees

Step 7: Glue the root branches to a piece of colored paper. Add any extra leaves to the scenery.

Thanksgiving Crafts Turkey and Tree

Step 8: Add the turkey!

Have fun! You can vary the scene by adding more trees and even more turkeys, or by doing several centerpieces, which is a great solution if you have more than one child crafting!

Do you have any special Holiday craft ideas (or memories) to share?

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