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Thanksgiving is almost upon us (well, in Canada, anyway), and the days are getting shorter and cooler. That means less play time outside after daycare, and more demands for the dreaded TV. So Busy Boxes are back! This week I put together five days’ worth of Thanksgiving crafts and activities to keep my 2-year-old and 4-year-old occupied at the table while I made dinner.

To read about my first week, and for background on how busy boxes work, visit my intro post. And check out what we did in week 2 and week 3.

Day 1: Felt Scarecrow Activity

• Prep time: 45 min • Cost for materials: $5 • Age: 3 and up •

You’ll need:

– Felt sheets (I picked mine up at the Dollar Store) to make a scarecrow and mix-and-match clothes

– Scissors, fine-tipped marker, white glue

• • • • •

This project took a bit more work than usual, but I put it together in less than an hour (while Polly was napping). Isla had fun dressing and re-dressing the scarecrow, and we chatted a bit about corn, fall harvest food, and why farmers need scarecrows to protect their crops.

The end result was a fun game that can be used again and again.

Day 2: Colour By Number Turkey

• Prep time: 1 min • Cost for materials: Free • Age: 2 and up •

You’ll need:

– Printed off picture of a turkey, or any Thanksgiving image (head to Pinterest for lots of ideas)

– Crayons or markers

• • • • •

Colouring is a favourite activity around our kitchen table, and it usually holds the kids’ attention for longer periods of time when there’s a purpose. Polly isn’t quite at the age where she can follow directions, but this activity is perfect for someone Isla’s age (preschool and up).

We printed this picture from the Internet, but in the past I’ve also just quickly drawn a picture for Isla to colour match. It’s great for younger kids to practice number and colour recognition, and I think Isla is just about ready for something a bit more challenging.

Day 3: Autumn Pipecleaner Trees

• Prep time: 3 min • Cost for materials: Under $5 • Age: 2 and up •

You’ll need:

– Buttons – ideally the colour of fall leaves

– Brown pipe cleaners

• • • • •

This is a great activity to work on fine motor skills. Start by taking two pipe cleaners and bending them in half, then twisting them together to create the trunk of a tree. Next, bend the ends of pipecleaners out to create branches, and tape the trees to the side of a Tupperware container full of buttons. Encourage your little people to fill the trees with fall leaves (buttons). Polly, at 2, is now just able to get the buttons on the pipecleaners, and she worked hard on this project while I made dinner.


Day 4: Number Matching Turkey

• Prep time: 10 min • Cost for materials: Under $5 • Age: 3 and up •

You’ll need:

– Hand-drawn picture of turkey, covered in packing tape (or laminated), so you can write on it with dry erase marker

– Coloured paper, cut into shapes of turkey feathers

– Permanent marker (for dots on the feathers), dry erase marker (for writing on the turkey)

• • • • •

What I like about this activity is that it can be customized to your child’s age and ability, and used again and again for a variety of themes. Simply put dots, numbers, letters or words on each of eight coloured turkey feathers. Then, using a dry erase marker, draw a number, letter or word on the picture, which your child has to match to the corresponding feathers.

Isla, who has counting and number recognition in the bag when it comes to 0 – 12, worked larger numbers, as well as matching lower case and upper case letters, and animals pictures to their names.

This activity could even be played with a younger child, by getting them to match colours, shapes or pictures.

Day 5: Pumpkin Spice Play Dough

• Prep time: 10 min • Cost for materials: Under $10 • Age: 2 and up •

You’ll need:

– Recipe for pumpkin spice play dough (link here)

– Play baking toys (cookie cutters, rolling pin, pie plates)

– Plastic toys for pie stuffing (buttons, marbles)

• • • • •

I love play dough (my husband not so much), and it’s even more fun to play with when you can connect it with a holiday or special event, and use it as a teaching tool. We made this pumpkin spice-scented play dough to make pretend cookies and pies. Polly used buttons to fill a toy pie tin, and we made lattice play dough strips to cover them up. We also practiced rolling and cutting cookies using fall-themed cutters, which is great fine motor practice for little hands.

Pssst! Like what you read? Don’t forget to pin it!

Or follow my Pinterest board for other cool Sensory Activity ideas for your kids


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